The Chicago Bears are considering building a new football stadium in Naperville, IL, according to this report. The team has opened up talks with the city of Naperville amid a battle over their property taxes.
According to this report, plans to build “the largest single development project in Illinois history” are “at risk” in Arlington Heights. A new stadium alone in Arlington Heights is estimated to cost at least $2.5 billion, according to this report.
The battle has to do with the value of the 326-acre site that once held the former Arlington International Racecourse.
Plans for the Chicago Bears to plant their goal posts in the suburbs took a surprising turn Friday afternoon when Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli met with team President Kevin Warren to discuss the possibility of building a new NFL stadium in Naperville rather than Arlington Heights.
The Chicago Bears currently play at Soldier Field in Chicago. Soldier Field has not been remodeled since 2002 and holds the smallest capacity among stadiums in the NFL, prompting the franchise to explore options out of the downtown area for a new home venue.
Soldier Field was built in 1924 and has a capacity of 61,500. The Bears' last (and only) Super Bowl win came back in 1986.
Meanwhile, on average, professional sports stadiums take between two and three years from start to finish. However, the project’s size, available funds, supply chains, weather and design itself all play a role in determining the ultimate timeline, according to this report.
The newer full-time NFL stadiums are SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, home of both the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers; and Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada, home of the Las Vegas Raiders. Both stadiums opened for the 2020 season.
The Buffalo Bills have the newest NFL stadium and will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for their new football playground on Monday, according to this report.
The Chicago Bears is still owned by the family of 1920 owner George Halas, who would go on to coach the Bears for 40 years. Virginia Halas McCaskey is the franchise’s current owner.