The City Of Chicago Wants To Build A $2.2 Billion Dome Over Soldier Field To Keep The Bears

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The Chicago Bears are currently looking to potentially build a new stadium in Arlington Heights, a suburb 30 miles northwest of their current location at Soldier Field, at the site of Arlington International Racecourse, which they have begun the process of purchasing and plan on closing on the property in the next year.

The city of Chicago, of course, doesn’t want to lose the Bears given what they mean to the city and the amount of people the draw to Chicago on gamedays, and on Monday, mayor Lori Lightfoot detailed a $2.2 billion proposal to upgrade Soldier Field, putting what appears to be a windowed dome on top, along with building up the area around it with retail space, housing, entertainment and more.

As always, there’s the question of whether the city should be spending this much money on a sports stadium, even with the economic implications of the Bears leaving, but it also remains to be seen if the Bears would even want to stay with a massive renovation. They’ve been very clear about their plans to move forward with the Arlington Heights stadium build, with the potential to put a casino on site and more to make it a destination, despite their lease with the city of Chicago and Soldier Field running through 2033.

Maybe their push to move was always a leverage play to get the city to put this kind of money into the stadium, but at this point this feels like a last gasp move from Chicago and the Bears will follow a number of other teams into moving out of city centers and to the suburbs.

Aside from all of that, I will say that as a general fan of weather games, seeing another team move indoors (whether Soldier Field or a new stadium), while understandable, will feel like a loss. There’s something about football in the elements that feels right, but pretty much every new stadium being built now has a roof and climate control that strips that away.


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