The Chicago Bears have been rumored to leave Soldier Field, Chicago after they placed a bid on the Arlington Heights racecourse.
The Arlington Heights Village Board also approved the potential building of an NFL stadium on the racecourse at the Arlington International Racecourse.
However, even after winning the bid, the Chicago Bears have a long way to go before they can stake their claim on the Arlington Heights Racecourse. The Bears are under lease at Soldier Field till 2033 and breaking that lease early will cost them some significant money.
After another grueling rebuild, fans are once again excited about the Bears’ Super Bowl prospects — and the debut of their new retractable dome in Arlington Heights. https://t.co/WA1cgiEk7I
— Southern Illinoisan (@thesouthern) June 28, 2021
How much will it cost to be exact?
How Much Will It Cost The Chicago Bears To Move To Arlington Heights And Build A New Stadium?
Breaking the lease early would cost the Bears some serious money if Chicago doesn’t allow them to break contract earlier. They’d owe the Chicago Bears Park District around at least $84 million.
This comes from permit fees (which costs $6.3 million annually via Sports Illustrated) along with any other expenses and monetary expenses. This would have to be paid back within 30 days of them leaving the stadium.
Assuming, the Bears are able to sort this out, they’d still need to have the money to build a whole new stadium on that plot of land. Buying the plot of land will cost the Bears at least hundreds of millions of dollars.
On top of that, they then need to build a new stadium which is no easy task. Stadiums cost teams upward of a billion dollars. The most recent NFL stadiums that opened, Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas and So Fi Stadium Inglewood, cost the Raiders $1.9 billion and the Rams and Chargers $5-6 billion.
Some of this money could be brought in if the city of Chicago supports the Bears move. However, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was very adamant on where she stands on that topic saying that “This is clearly a negotiating tactic that the Bears have used before.”
Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a statement calling the Bears’ bid on Arlington Park a negotiating tactic and “noise.” pic.twitter.com/dVBjaEC6tq
— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) June 17, 2021
So, will it happen? Maybe. Is it going to happen anytime soon? Probably not. The Bears need to figure out a way to budget their finances as moving stadiums is no cheap task.