Insider

Bears sign agreement to purchase Arlington Park

Insider

It might still be a negotiating tactic, but it's certainly more than a bluff.

The Chicago Bears have signed a purchase agreement for the Arlington International Racecourse property in Arlington Heights, per a release and first reported by The Athletic.

“Finalizing the PSA was the critical next step in continuing our exploration of the property and its potential,” said Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips 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.”

After submitting an official bid for the property in June, the Bears were immediately considered the overwhelming favorite to win out on the coveted suburban land. An announcement on the purchase was expected after Arlington Park officially closed its doors Saturday after nearly 94 years of horse racing operation. 

MORE: Why Arlington Park is perfect for the Bears

If the Bears follow through with the purchase, it could mean the development of an enormous new stadium not unlike Sofi Stadium, which sits on 298 acres of land in suburban Los Angeles that used to be the Hollywood Park horse track. Arlington Park sits on 326 acres.

 

In a tweet late Tuesday night, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said her administration remains committed to keeping the Bears in Chicago.

Lightfoot doubled down on Wednesday morning.

"They actually got to come to us and tell us what they want," Lightfoot said on the Mully and Haugh show. "We have been open to a conversation. They have not."

Her tune has certainly changed, however, since calling the Bears' bid for Arlington Park "a negotiating tactic" back in June. 

"As a season ticket holder and longtime Bears fan, I am committed to keeping the 'Chicago' name in our football team," Lightfoot said in that June statement. "And like most Bears fans, we want the organization to focus on putting a winning team on the field, beating the Packers finally and being relevant past October. Everything else is noise."

Tuesday's development sure appears to be more than noise. 

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