Bears Stadium Plans ‘At Risk’ After New Tax Rule Complicates Move

Bears helmet

Getty Image / Tom Hauck

The Chicago Bears arguably have the worst field conditions in the NFL which has sparked a possible stadium move for the team.

It’s been rumored the franchise aims to build a Soldier Field in Arlington Heights, giving the team a new home in a different location within Chicago.

However, it sounds like this move is becoming more complicated after a new tax assessment dispute puts the Arlington Heights move “at risk.”

According to Front Office Sports, the Bears are in talks with Naperville, a completely different area of Chicago, about building a stadium in that location instead.

Here’s the reason why the Bears may have to build a stadium in Naperville instead of Arlington Heights.

“The team’s surprise move to open talks with Naperville arrives amid a new dispute over the tax assessment on the Arlington Heights Racecourse property the Bears purchased from Churchill Downs for $197.2 million. The still-pending issue could dramatically alter the economics of the proposed stadium and mixed-use development project.”

So, Naperville becomes the Plan B option.

Even so, Bears Vice President of marketing and communications, Scott Hagel, claims they will continue with the demolition process in Arlington Heights. But the team is trying to prepare building in Naperville as well, per Front Office Sports.

“We will continue the ongoing demolition activity and work toward a path forward in Arlington Heights, but it is no longer our singular focus. It is our responsibility to listen to other municipalities in Chicagoland about potential locations that can deliver on this transformational opportunity for our fans, our club, and the state of Illinois.”

Front Office Sports also reports that the initial plan in Arlington Heights “carried a projected cost of $5 billion, including both the stadium and adjacent development.”

So, if the Bears decide to build a stadium in Naperville instead, the cost should be within that range.

This is certainly a situation to monitor, as this franchise hopes to have a new home in the near future.