The Chicago Bears continue to press forward on an eventual move to the suburbs. In September of 2021, the Bears signed a purchase agreement to buy the 326-acre real estate in Arlington Heights. This land is currently occupied by Arlington Park and owned by Churchhill Downs Inc. However, the next step is now underway per this report from the Daily Herald.
This fall, the Bears will formally submit their initial plans to redevelop Arlington Park and the surrounding land to the Village of Arlington Heights. According to the Mayor of Arlington Heights, Tom Hayes, the village board will review these plans later this year as the team closes on their $197.2 million deal. Of course, it won't be until early 2023 when the Bears and Churchill Downs finalize the sale.
Mayor Hayes seemed enthusiastic and optimistic about a Bears move to his town. Although, he did acknowledge that this is just the preliminary stages and there is still a long ways to go.
Now, the Bears begin the process of going back-and-forth with their initial plan and subsequent revised versions with the village. Hopefully, getting an approval from Arlington Heights, coupled with a finalization of a deal with Churchill Downs, will speed up the process of finally moving out of the city. This is starting to look a lot more realistic than it did back in September when the news originally broke.