By Frank Slawson, The Chicago Times
July 25, 2022
CHICAGO – In a desperate bid to keep the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveiled plans to construct a tax funded dome to cover the historic stadium. According to Lightfoot, the price tag for the project could range between $900 million to $2.2 billion.
In September, the Chicago Bears announced they had reached an agreement to purchase the former site of Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights for $197 million. Bears front office declined to comment on Lightfoot’s tax funded plan.
“We are doing what we believe is making a compelling case for the Chicago Bears to stay in Chicago. They want a tier one stadium environment to maximize revenues. And we are going to keep making the case to the Bears, the NFL and the public that a revitalized Solider Field makes the most economic sense for that storied franchise.” Lightfoot said in a statement.
Lightfoot’s plan would also increase seating at Soldier Field from 61,500 seats to 70,000. The plan would also improve transportation to Soldier Field via public transportation. Lightfoot also indicated that she would advance the plan with or without the Bears.
“Whether the Bears stay, and I hope they do, but even if they don’t, we’re going to generate a massive amount of revenue and financial impact for our city,” Lightfoot said.
Lightfoot also suggested that another NFL team lease Soldier Field, yet NFL regulations would give the Bears veto power over another team’s plan to move into Beardown territory.