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Bears and BetRivers: A Partnership Made in Heaven, Destined for Arlington Heights?

The Bears have partnered with BetRivers/Rivers Casino on a multi-year exclusive partnership. However, there is possibly more to the story…

Chicago Bears
Photo: © Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports, 247Sports

With plenty of hype on the field for the Chicago Bears this summer, as well as numerous storylines off the field, the Bears announced a multi-year partnership with BetRivers and Rivers Casino on Tuesday. The deal is the first partnership for the NFL’s oldest franchise with a sportsbook or casino.

There is plenty of excitement surrounding this announcement. However, there has been quite a bit of speculation with the announcement of the aforementioned partnership. For starters, Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, IL is owned by Rush Street Gambling and Churchill Downs Incorporated. Let’s start there.

The Conspiracy Theory

Ah yes, Churchill Downs. Most sports fans know Churchill Downs because of horse racing. Naturally that will catch the eye. However, for those that didn’t know, or may have forgot, the Bears placed a bid to purchase Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights, IL.

Care to guess who owns Arlington Racecourse? If you guessed Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) then you are correct. It further adds to the intrigue surrounding the Bears decision to affiliate with BetRivers/Rivers Casino over other major sportsbooks such as DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet.

In addition, there is supposedly a lot of smoke surrounding a potential sale of the Bears. This has been speculated before, but nothing concrete has been reported into the media space. That said, let’s add some fire to the move:

If you happen to read further in the thread, the Ryan-McKenna group would be able to build a new stadium on their own from a financial standpoint, something the McCaskey family could not do without assistance from the state of Illinois.

In addition, the announcement of this partnership mentions “prominent in-stadium signage” within… what stadium? Guess what? It doesn’t specify whether that is Soldier Field, or potentially a new venue in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.

Analysis

For starters, nothing is concrete regarding the conspiracies of the BetRivers/Rivers Casino and Bears partnership. That said, there are a lot of things that raise multiple questions with the new formed alliance. The Chicago Bears are one of the most prominent franchises in all of sports, and especially the NFL. They could partner with anyone, right? In theory they certainly could.

However, once all the reports are thrown into the story, it makes for an interesting storyline to watch as the summer marches on. Perhaps this is setting up for a “BetRivers Field” in the Bears’ future up in Arlington Heights. Currently, Solider Field is the smallest stadium in the NFL per capacity, currently seating 61,500 fans. Although about half of the NFL stadiums hold less than 70,000 fans, the Bears could easily pack 80,000 fans or more into a new stadium eight-to-nine Sundays per year.

In addition, a new stadium with a possible retractable roof allows for the Chicagoland area to host many major events, including the Super Bowl.

Sure, many fans love Soldier Field and it’s position along the lakefront. It presents quite a home field advantage during the colder months of the NFL season. However, even if the Bears still wanted that home field advantage, the roof could remain open and a retractable roof opens up many more opportunities to bring revenue into the state of Illinois. That is certainly something that will appeal to Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker. Sure, Chicago will lose out on a lot of money if the Bears leave, but the idea of this move puts the Bears in the power position for the city of Chicago to either step up in some way, or watch the Bears move 30 miles away to Arlington Heights.

Summary

In summary, just like On Tap Sports Net, the Bears now have an affiliation with BetRivers and Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. It’s early, but this exclusive new partnership presents a lot of possibilities for a Bears team to move to a brand new stadium in the city’s suburbs. This is a developing storyline that fans should keep a close eye on as the 2021 NFL season approaches.

As a reminder, if you stop in at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, be sure to sign up for mobile betting with BetRivers while using promo code “ONTAP” for a deposit match of up to $250.

Use the code ONTAP at sign-up!
*Valid for gamblers 21 and over in Illinois and Iowa

Until this situation fully plays out, fans will continue to speculate about the new partnership between the Chicago Bears and BetRivers. Buckle up Bears fans, the fun is just beginning.


Work as an accountant by day. Huge Chicago sports fan. Played college football and only wish I could skate well enough to play hockey. Twitter: @rnldluce Instagram: @rnldluce

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