Bears potential new stadium
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Unusual Partnership: Suburban Mayor and GOP Legislator Support Bears

Published May 14, 2024 at 11:24

In a surprising turn of events, the Chicago Bears' proposal for a new lakefront stadium has garnered support from some unexpected quarters. A suburban mayor alongside a Republican legislator have stepped up as proponents for the ambitious project, igniting discussions on its feasibility and the potential impact on the community. This partnership highlights the complex interplay of sports, politics, and urban planning in the pursuit of major development projects.

"Why are we not actively supporting the Bears?" Stephens queried. "They're essentially a multibillion-dollar entity and if they were to sell, any new owner would likely seek similar financial support."

The Bears are currently pursuing legislative permission to refinance and prolong ISFA bonds, which have historically been dedicated to supporting sports facilities for four decades. This funding, fueled by a 2% tax on Chicago hotels, was pointed out by Stephens as a potential source that should be utilized exclusively for a stadium in Chicago.

Following their acquisition of the Arlington Park site in Arlington Heights over a year ago for $197.2 million, the NFL team has been planning to construct a domed stadium on the lakefront, which would be managed by the Chicago Park District.

Recently, Stephens allied with Johnson to advocate for this project, although their discussion at a recent Illinois AFL-CIO meeting didn't directly address the Bears. Instead, Stephens took the opportunity to bring up what he perceived as Johnson's disregard for McCombie, who had engaged with various legislative leaders during her two-day trip to the Capitol.
May 14   |   62 answers
Unusual Partnership: Suburban Mayor and GOP Legislator Support Bears

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