Cole Kmet already gets to play for his favorite football team. Now he might get the chance to play even closer to his own backyard.
A native of Lake Barrington, the second-year tight end went to St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights, so Wednesday’s news that the Bears have an agreement to purchase Arlington Park, really hit home.
“Obviously close to where I grew up and everything. It’s just really cool,” Kmet said. “I know all the guys I went to high school with are excited about it. They keep asking me the details of it. That is not something I’m involved in at all.”
But the details are something Kmet looks forward to hearing about and seeing. In Week 1, the Bears visited Sofi Stadium in Los Angeles for the second time and Kmet is among those blown away by the Rams’ and Chargers’ new home.
“I don’t know how you guys felt after going to SoFi, but that place is pretty sweet. If you have that much land out in Arlington Heights, I can only imagine what they can do with that space and all that stuff. Pretty cool. Could be pretty special,” Kmet said.
Like the land in Arlington, Sofi Stadium was developed where a horse track — Hollywood Park — used to operate.
Some players care more about stadiums than others, but Kmet said they do notice differences as they travel around the league.
“For us, it’s a lot of the field stuff. Great turf at SoFi. Really just the locker rooms. Just the whole thing going into it. The exterior of it,” Kmet said. “Obviously we don’t get to experience it how a fan would experience it in the stands and whatnot, but all that stuff for us is pretty cool. Just to see the structure of everything and all that stuff, I take notice of it and I think it’s pretty cool.
It will be a long time before a new stadium would be finished for the Bears, but Kmet is among a handful of young players the team hopes are still around at that point — likely not until at least 2026.
And if the tight end is among the players who get to open a new stadium in Arlington Heights, then he’s right — it would be special.