It's the next step toward the team building a new stadium in Arlington Heights.
Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips noted the team was "excited" the deal has been executed and gratitude "to Churchill Downs Incorporated for their efforts to reach this point".
"Finalizing the PSA was the critical next step in continuing our exploration of the property and its potential," Phillips said in a statement. "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. We will never stop working toward delivering Bears fans the very best experience. We will continue to provide updates on our progress at the appropriate time.”
For Arlington Heights it's a step closer toward what could be an economic boon to the suburb. A new stadium will bring Bears fans, businesses and other potentially large events like a Super Bowl, Big 10 Championship games, Wrestlemania, Final Fours, concerts and more.
“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,” said Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes. “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.”
There is some reservation amongst fans that the team will lose something moving out of the city and off the lakefront, both from a charm and homefield advantage perspective.
Soldier Field is currently the smallest stadium in the NFL with a capacity of 61,500. As an open air stadium, big events have avoided Chicago because of the inclement weather. An indoor stadium could bring those events to the Chicago area.