From the Lakefront to Arlington Heights

Photo from

Danny Semenak

Since 1971 the Chicago Bears have called Soldier Field their home. Countless wins, losses, memories, and traditions are synonymous with the Bears organization and synonymous with Soldier Field. However, ownership has not been happy with the city’s treatment of the field and have proposed to Mayor Lightfoot their plans of leaving the city behind. 

In 2001, a $400 million reconstruction plan of Soldier Field was signed by Richard M. Daley. Bears fans were confident their team would stay at Soldier forever, but over the recent years the poor effort from the city on keeping the stadium up to terms has vastly affected the McCaskeys, who are longtime owners of the Bears, stance on the future of the franchise. On September 29, 2021, the Bears purchased the Arlington Heights racetrack for $197.2 million. Although the deal has not been fully closed, ownership has started to inform Arlington Park residents and Mayor Lightfoot about how they will not consider staying in Soldier Field. 

Bears ownership is having town hall meetings with the people of ArlingtonTed Phillips, President and CEO of Chicago Bears stressed to the community how serious the Bears are “we will not be discussing any other alternative sites, including renovations of Soldier Field” (Chicago Sun Times).

Over the past two years, the Bears organization has been seeking a solution for the deteriorating Soldier Field. The Bears do not own the stadium, which instead, belongs to the Chicago Park District. Soldier Field’s grass has been a main issue for years. The constant concerts and Chicago Fire games that happen at the stadium do the Bears no favors. In addition, fans have complained about the lack of accessibility for years. The lack of parking means fans have to pay extra to even get to the games. The city refuses to make changes, which has angered Bears ownership. A move to Arlington Heights would mean more accessibility. The 4 different highways means fans will have a less stressful commute to the stadium. Additionally, Bears ownership is very excited to make Arlington Heights a family friendly site. Their plans have been expressed to the local community, and the people of Arlington Heights are fully on board. The Bears organization hopes to give their fans a safe and positive experience while watching their team and believes moving to Arlington Heights will create a much better environment.

Ignatius Junior Jon Blackman is very happy about the potential move to Arlington, “I love that the Bears will have full control of their land and stadium, although it will be difficult to move out of the city, it will be a very beneficial move for the franchise”. 

Bears fans are some of the most loyal and passionate fans when it comes to their team. The fans deserve to have a safe and positive experience while watching their team, moving to Arlington Heights will create a much better environment.

Photo from