This past Monday, Lori Lightfoot, the Mayor of Chicago, issued a $900 million to $2.2 billion hail mary proposition to try and entice the Bears to stay put in the stadium they have used for the past 50 years.
Despite this, officials with the Chicago Bears have stated via a press release earlier this month that they would never consider any other offers, even those from their previous home stadium, Soldier Field. The NFL team once again affirmed that sentiment to ESPN this past week, highlighting that they were dead set on moving their franchise over to a location roughly 30 miles away.
“As part of our mutual agreement with the seller of that property, we are not pursuing alternative stadium deals or sites, including renovations to Soldier Field, while we are under contract,” stated the team.
As of writing, the Bears are slated to move down to Arlington Park, the longtime site of Churchill Downs’ thoroughbred racing in Arlington Heights. That area sports a crime level that is well below the national median level, as reported by multiple crime statistic analyses. Census data reports that the median household incoming for the area is just over $100,200, and only about four percent of the population there could be considered below the poverty line.
On the other hand, the city of Chicago deals with extremely high crime rates including a record-shattering number of shootings. Data from the recent census showed that the area of the city sported a media household incoming of almost $62,000 and well over 17 percent of its people are declared as being below the poverty line.
To go along with the definitive statement from the Bears, Lightfoot unveiled to AP News that the team outright refused to meet with her.
Despite being snubbed, Lightfoot has not slowed down at all in her attempts to salvage the relationship and enter negotiations. Lightfoot explained via a press release that the $900 million to $2.2 billion would be able to pay for three quite different renovation choices that could end with a dome stadium, a fully-enclosed stadium, or a multi-purpose stadium suitable for soccer games and concerts.
The Chicago Mayor highlighted that two of the options were made with the future of the Bears in mind. She claimed that the Bears would end up saving over $1 to $1.5 billion in total costs if they remained with Soldier field instead of making the move over to Arlington Park.
The politician also created a website, “Re-Imagine Soldier Field,” as just a piece of her final efforts to try and make the Bears stay. The site sports downloadable digital renderings of the various renovations.