NBC Sports

Should Bears Stay or Go? Poll Shows Residents' Opinions

NBC Sports

Chicagoans have strong feelings about whether the Chicago Bears should move from Soldier Field to a new stadium in Arlington Heights, according to results released Friday in an independent poll commissioned by Telemundo Chicago, NBC 5, the Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ.

Of the 625 registered voters interviewed for the poll, more than half -- 52% -- said the Bears should not move to Arlington Heights from Chicago, while 23% said the team should leave Soldier Field. On the other end of the polling field, a sizeable contingent of polled voters haven't made up their minds, with 25% saying they weren't sure.

Responses from those who said they wanted the Bears to stay in Chicago didn't seem to skew based on gender, age or race. They were relatively evenly split between male and female respondents, those who identified as either over 50 or under 50, and those who identified as Black, Hispanic or white.

Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, Inc., which conducted the poll between Jan. 31 and Feb. 3 in the lead-up to the Feb. 28 municipal election, determined the potential margin for error of the poll's results to be no more than plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Turning to a tactic for Chicago to potentially retain the team, respondents were asked: Would you support or oppose public financing to renovate Soldier Field into a domed year-round commercial and entertainment center if it would keep the Bears from leaving Chicago?

Chicagoans were far more split of the answer to this question, with 51% saying they opposed public financing to renovate Solider Field, 42% saying they support it and 7% undecided.


In January, the Bears said the team still intends to close on the deal this quarter to purchase Arlington Park, reiterating that they have no plans to explore other stadium deals, including renovations at Soldier Field.

When the team hired new president Kevin Warren, it didn't feel like a coincidence that he had a hand in the development of U.S. Bank Stadium, the home of the Minnesota Vikings.

"Kevin said it was built on time and under budget," Chairman George McCaskey said when asked earlier this year what he appreciates about U.S. Bank Stadium as it relates to the Bears' wish list for their own stadium.

Warren has said he saved the "binders and folders" he used when planning out U.S. Bank Stadium, noting he's "glad he saved them."

Planning has already begun, as the Bears released a tentative plan for the stadium's surroundings. Including hotels, restaurants, tailgating, gyms, etc., the organization is ready to hit the ground running on the project. 

"I know we're focused on Arlington Park and that stadium development project," he said. "I look forward to leaning into the stadium development project. But I think the biggest thing we can do is to make sure that we're methodical, we're detailed, and we take the time to plan it properly."

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