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The Chicago Bears Present Renderings of Their New Stadium – A Centerpiece of Mixed-Use Development


The Bears unveiled renderings of their potential site in Arlington Heights on Tuesday, should they decide to move from Soldier Field to the northwest suburb. 

The Chicago Bears of the National Football League have shared more information about their potential plans to relocate to a 326-acre mixed-use campus that would rise on the site of the now-closed Arlington International Racecourse facility, formerly Arlington Park, in Chicago’s northwest suburbs, just weeks after Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveiled a trio of transformative redevelopment schemes for Solider Field. The Bears have been a primary tenant of historic Solider Field since 1971. 

The Bears’ preliminary viewpoint for Arlington Park was officially revealed earlier this week in an open letter, ahead of a community meeting in Arlington Heights (more on that in a bit). The letter confirmed that a relocation outside of Chicago is still on the table, though nothing is set in stone at this time because the franchise has not yet finalized the purchase of the former racetrack site. Churchill Downs Inc. announced in early February 2021 its intention to close and sell the storied, nearly century-old property. That September, the Bears announced a preliminary agreement to purchase the racetrack site for $197.2 million. 

In an open letter posted on September 6, the group stated, ‘We remain under contract to purchase the property, but there are requirements that must be completed to be in a position to close. Just because we close on the land doesn’t mean we’ll develop it.’ 

We won’t be discussing or looking into any other potential stadium locations or other alternatives while we’re still under contract with the seller of Arlington Park, the letter said, including remodeling Soldier Field. 

The Halas-McCaskey family owns the bears, with Virginia Halas McCaskey, 99, serving as the primary owner since 2014. She is the oldest club owner in any major American league sport, and the family ownership structure has been in place for the longest in the NFL. 

The open letter continued, ‘While the Bears will not seek public funding for direct stadium structural construction, we look forward to cooperating with the different governmental authorities to achieve extra funds and assistance needed to support the feasibility of the remaining development.’ 

The Bears’ home stadium since 1971, Soldier Field, would be included in such upgrades. The stadium has undergone numerous changes since it first opened in 1924. The second-oldest stadium in the NFL is Lambeau Field, which was built for the Green Bay Packers in 1957. 

However, the Bears still have a deal to play at Soldier Field through 2033, which the franchise says it plans to fulfill. However, the Bears have the option to break the agreement as early as 2026 for a buyout of $84 million. 

The club described the stadium as the focal point of one of the biggest developments in Illinois history. That development would have restaurants, businesses, hotels, and parks. According to the team, construction might result in 48,000 new jobs, a $9.4 billion boost to the local economy, and a $3.9 billion increase in labor pay. 

The Bears are to host and present conceptual drawings for the mixed-use district during an upcoming informational community meeting on Thursday to explore the possible purchase and development.  

Indovance Inc.with its exclusive delivery hub in India is a global CAD outsourcing partner serving the needs of the AEC industry since 2003. At INDOVANCE we focus on the unique need of each project or client and believe in addressing the real challenges and guarantee that the process will be well-coordinated, smooth, efficient, and hassle-free. 

We collaborate with our customers around the world to develop bespoke business solutions using our enormous engineering talent pool and state-of-the-art technology. We align with your culture and processes to create an unbreakable partnership to deliver long-term engineering and business strategies. With over 500 full-time employees and more than 600 customers in the US, Europe, India, and Asia, we are poised for the next level of success. 

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