The Chicago Bears took another big step in their potential departure from Soldier Field.
After acquiring 326 acres of property in Arlington Heights earlier this 2023, the Bears are moving on to make the construction of a new stadium in Chicago a reality. According to the latest reports, the team has gotten permission to begin the demolition of the Arlington Park racetrack that's in the property they purchased, per Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Bears were issued the permit on Friday, with the demolition project set to begin next week. It is worth noting, however, that the permit the Chicago franchise got is only for the demolition of the interior of the racetrack. In order to completely remove the exterior of race track, the team will also need to get a separate approval from Arlington Heights and Cook County.
Despite the tedious process it involves, the project is certainly a huge step for the Bears to build a new stadium and entertainment district in the area.
Hopefully, the Bears are able to keep their new stadium project going. To recall, in their February announcement, the team did say that “finalizing the purchase does not guarantee the land will be developed.”
“There is still a tremendous amount of due diligence work to be done to determine if constructing an enclosed state-of-the-art stadium and multi-purpose entertainment district is feasible,” the Bears furthered at the time.
Chicago's lease at Soldier Field runs through 2033, so the Bears still have plenty of time before they actually move out. They can also negotiate an earlier exit if the construction of the new stadium doesn't experience any long delay.