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Bears seek permit to begin demolition of Arlington International Racecourse

Chris Simms and Ahmed Fareed take a deep dive into the Bills, Bears, Bengals, Colts, Raiders, Giants, Buccaneers and Cardinals to evaluate each team's draft selections.

The Bears’ move to the suburbs is about to take another step.

The team has sought permission from the Village of Arlington Heights to begin demolition of the Arlington International Racecourse, formally submitting paperwork, Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

A team official confirmed the report to Finley but stressed that it does not guarantee the Bears will build a stadium on their 326-acre property.

The Bears would privately finance construction of a domed (non-retractable roof) stadium. However, they want public assistance for the infrastructure that surrounds the site in order to make moving to the suburbs financially feasible.

The Bears’ lease at Soldier Field runs through 2033. However, they can leave as early as 2026 by paying $90 million, and the price to cancel the lease prematurely drops with each passing year.

In February, the Bears closed on their $197.2 million purchase of the property in Arlington Heights.

Demolition on the racetrack, which opened in 1927 and closed in September 2021, will start on the interior of the complex in Phase I.