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Bears say their stadium plan is at risk after property tax assessment

Chris Simms tells Mike Florio what he needs to see more of from Justin Fields next season, after the QB came in at No. 23 on his Top 40 QB Countdown.

The Bears still plan to move out of Soldier Field in Chicago and build a new stadium in the suburbs, but they might no longer do it in Arlington Heights after a sharp increase to the taxes on the property they bought there.

In a statement released today, the Bears said that Cook County has assessed its property taxes at a level that the team sees as too high.

“The Chicago Bears goal of building the largest single development project in Illinois history led by billions of dollars in private capital investment, and the jobs and economic benefits generated, is at risk in Arlington Heights,” the team’s statement said. “The stadium-based project remains broadly popular in Arlington Heights, Chicagoland and the state. However, the property’s original assessment at five times the 2021 tax value, and the recent settlement with Churchill Downs for 2022 being three times higher, fails to reflect the property is not operational and not commercially viable in its current state. We will continue the ongoing demolition activity and work toward a path forward in Arlington Heights, but it is no longer our singular focus. It is our responsibility to listen to other municipalities in Chicagoland about potential locations that can deliver on this transformational opportunity for our fans, our club and the State of Illinois.”

Bears officials met today with the mayor of Naperville, a Chicago suburb that is not in Cook County, to discuss the possibility of building a stadium there.