CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bears have submitted a bid to buy a suburban horse racing track, suggesting a willingness to move out of downtown Soldier Field for a new stadium.
Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips says the club wants to purchase the track in Arlington Heights, about 30 miles northwest of Soldier Field.
Phillips says the Bears have an “obligation to explore every possible option” to seek the best for the organization’s future.
Soldier Field is the oldest stadium in the NFL.
Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot says she is committed to keeping the team in place.
“Our city is home to some of the world’s finest sports teams who have played a vital role in the city’s re-opening. As part of the city’s recovery, many organizations are doubling down on their commitment to Chicago. The Bears are locked into a lease at Soldier Field until 2033. In addition, this announcement from the Bears comes in the midst of negotiations for improvements at Soldier Field. This is clearly a negotiating tactic that the Bears have used before. As a season ticketholder and longtime Bears fan, I am committed to keeping the ‘Chicago’ name in our football team. 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.”Tweet at 5:56 p.m. June 17, 2021, from Lori Lightfoot, a Democrat who is Chicago mayor