The Chicago mayor really does not want the Bears to relocate.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is proposing the city make its own renovations to keep the team in town as the team are positioning themselves for a future relocation from downtown Chicago to the suburb of Arlington Heights in order to build a new “world-class” stadium.
A Chicago mayoral committee is “poised to recommend that the city ‘explore the feasibility’ of putting a dome atop Soldier Field in an effort to make the facility more attractive to potential users,” including the . But the “dome ‘almost certainly’ will require some sort of taxpayer subsidy.” No cost figures for the dome are listed in the draft report, but sources said that estimates of $400M to $1.5B “have been mentioned.”
The most recent NFL stadiums to open with enclosed roofing include the Chargers’ and Rams’ SoFi Stadium in California, which reportedly cost more than $5 billion; and the Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium in Nevada, costing approximately $1.9 billion.
The Bears can exit their Soldier Field lease in 2026, and the team last fall finalized a purchase agreement for the Arlington International Racecourse, a 326-acre property in Arlington Heights.
The closing of deal is expected to happen in later 2022 or early 2023.