Bears

Lori Lightfoot still determined to keep Bears in Chicago

Bears

Mayor Lori Lightfoot's fight to keep the Bears in Chicago is still going. 

Now that the Bears have closed on the land in Arlington Heights, they are no longer prohibited from speaking about other stadium plans. 

Hence, Lightfoot says she has the "opportunity to more directly communicate" with the Bears about a potential compromise to keep them at Soldier Field, according to ABC7 news

"I'm excited for the opportunity for us to make the business case to have the Bears stay in our city," Lightfoot said. "We've demonstrated that the number of opportunities that they're gonna get - with the number of tourists that come to our city every year, the amount of additional revenue opportunities that can be generated from Soldier Field - those simply can't be matched.

"We can, with retrofitting Soldier Field in some of the ways that we've talked about, really maximize the revenues for the Bears, significantly enhance the fan experience at Soldier Field. ... We want the Bears to remain the anchor tenant, and we're gonna do everything we can to get them there."

The city of Chicago and Lightfoot have pitched multiple facets as part of a grand plan to renovate Soldier Field in an attempt to persuade the Bears to stay in Chicago. 

The biggest faction of the plan is constructing a dome atop Soldier Field to make the venue a better environment for the Bears and its fans, as well as giving the stadium year-round access for concerts and other events that can't partake during Chicago's winters. 

 

Costs for the dome are projected to be around $2.2 billion. Lightfoot refused to answer whether or not the city would request a public subsidy for the stadium. She has mentioned the idea of selling the naming rights as a way to help fund the dome. 

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But, as the Bears march forward towards Arlington Heights, the chances of them staying at Soldier Field grow lesser and lesser. 

"My belief is that the best-case business scenario for them - having a great stadium, being truly in the best market for them in the country - is remaining at Soldier Field, working with us to modernize that stadium to meet their needs and to increase revenue opportunities, which I think are really boundless at Soldier Field," Lightfoot said.

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