The Arlington Heights Bears? Team reaches agreement on property an hour away from Chicago


FILE – In this July 16, 2010, file photo, orses and jockeys make their way from the paddock to the race track at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill. The racetrack is expected to close after the completion of racing on Sept. 25, with ownership taking bids for the future of the land. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (WFRV) – The longtime rival of the Green Bay Packers may have a new stadium in the near future, as they have signed a Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) for a 326-acre property in Arlington Heights.

While fans should not start preparing for the team to immediately change their name to the ‘Arlington Heights Bears’, the PSA could be the first step in building a new stadium.

Arlington Heights is around 35-40 miles northwest of Chicago, and a quick Google Maps search will say it is just over an hour’s drive.

The Bears signed the PSA with Churchill Downs Incorporated for the entire Arlington Park property.

Those with close ties to the track are holding out hope that racing can continue but call it a long shot. Arlington Park is remembered for staging the industry’s first million-dollar race and bringing legitimacy to international horses traveling to run in North America.

Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips says the PSA was the next step in continuing their exploration of the property and its potential.

“We are grateful to Churchill Downs Incorporated for their efforts to reach this point. We also appreciate the support of Mayor Tom Hayes and the Village of Arlington Heights. Finalizing the PSA was the critical next step in continuing our exploration of the property and its potential. Much work remains to be completed, including working closely with the Village of Arlington Heights and surrounding communities, before we can close on this transaction. Our goal is to chart a path forward that allows our team to thrive on the field, Chicagoland to prosper from this endeavor, and the Bears organization to be ensured a strong future,” said Phillips.

Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes issued a statement regarding the transaction:

“I could not be more excited about the news that the Chicago Bears have signed a Purchase and Sale Agreement to buy the Arlington Park property in our community. My goal for any redevelopment has always been to put this prime piece of real estate to its highest and best use, and I can’t think of a higher and better use than this one. There is a long way to go as we begin this journey, and many issues for the community to discuss, but the Village is committed to working with the Bears organization and all stakeholders to explore this opportunity for Arlington Heights and the northwest suburban region.”

Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes

The Bears currently play their home games at Soldier Field, the stadium was last renovated back in 2003 when it completed a 20-month renovation. The stadium was originally built in three stages between 1922 and 1939 at its total cost was $13 million.

More information about the PSA can be found on the team’s website.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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