Website ‘The Athletic’ Reports Chicago Bears Sign Purchase Agreement for Arlington Park in Arlington Heights

Arlington Park Grandstand on Saturday night, September 26, 2021
Arlington Park Grandstand on Saturday night, September 25, 2021.

Subscription-based sports website The Athletic reported Tuesday night, September 28, 2021, that the Chicago Bears have signed a purchase agreement for the Arlington International Racecourse property in Arlington Heights. Lead author Scott Powers and The Athletic Staff reported that the Chicago Bears are expected to announce the news Wednesday morning.

The leaked story from The Athletic comes just three days after the last horse race at Arlington International Racecourse.




The Athletic is a subscription-based sports website that provides ad-free national and local coverage in 47 North American cities as well as the United Kingdom.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot responded to Scott Powers’ tweet that linked to his Bears – Arlington Park purchase agreement article in The Athletic in a tweet referencing Powers’ tweet later Tuesday night. Lightfoot said, “My statement still stands on the Bears: my admin remains committed to continuing the work to keep the team in Chicago. As I have said numerous times, our door in City Hall remains open.”

Ted Phillips, Chicago Bears President and CEO, announced the bid for the dream property location on Thursday June 17, 2021.

Lightfoot’s June 2021 Response to Bears Bid News

“Our city is home to some of the world’s finest sports teams who have played a vital role in the city’s re-opening. As part of the city’s recovery, many organizations are doubling down on their commitment to Chicago, and we expect the Chicago Bears to follow suit. The Bears are locked into a lease at Soldier Field until 2033. In addition, this announcement from the Bears comes in the midst of negotiations for improvements at Soldier Field. This is clearly a negotiating tactic that the Bears have used before. As a season ticket holder and longtime Bears fan, I am committed to keeping the ‘Chicago’ name in our football team. And like most Bears fans, we want the organization to focus on putting a winning team on the field, beating the Packers finally and being relevant past October. Everything else is noise.”

— Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot




The Arlington Heights location is an ideal location for a Chicago Bears football stadium with access via expressway Illinois Route 53 just to the west of the 326-acre property and with nearby access from I-90 just south of the new home of the Chicago Bears. The property at Arlington Park already has its own Metra train station and adequate space for hotels, restaurants and shopping. We’ll see what connections the Village of Arlington Heights makes with the Chicago Bears beyond the football stadium. There is a Payton Place street that intersects Salt Creek Lane just southwest of the Arlington Park property. Another street, Payton Run, is located about 1.5 mile southeast of Arlington Park in downtown Arlington Heights. Last but not least, there is Payton’s Hill that is less than 4 miles north-northeast of Arlington Park, which would be visible from Payton’s Hill. Early in NFL career Chicago Bears’ favorite Walter Payton #34 lived on Pinetree Drive about 2 miles northeast of Arlington Park.

Soldier Field is owned by the Chicago Park District, and with a capacity for only 61,500 fans and lack of a retractable roof in a locale with harsh winters, the stadium would probably never host a Super Bowl.

Many people have noted that crime stories in Chicago, such as shootings, carjackings and roving gangs are reason enough for the Chicago Bears to move out of Chicago.




Following the bid announcement in June 2021, chatter around town has mentioned possible additional uses for the Bears stadium, such as an Olympics venue, NCAA championship games for football and basketball, and major concerts.

2200 West Euclid on Globe (Map data ©2021 Google, INEGI, SK telecom).
2200 West Euclid on Globe (Map data ©2021 Google, INEGI, SK telecom).




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Early Media Reaction to Chicago Bears Purchase Agreement News …

A published report late Tuesday said the Bears have signed a purchase agreement for the Arlington International Racecourse property in Arlington Heights, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot said her administration will go on working to keep the team in Chicago. YouTube Tips ⓘ

The Chicago Bears have informed Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office that the team has signed a purchase agreement for the Arlington International Race Course property in northwest suburban Arlington Heights. YouTube Tips ⓘ