Recently, former Bears head coach Mike Ditka did an interview with Jim O'Donnell of The Daily Herald. In summary, "Da Coach" says the Bears belong in Chicago, not Arlington Heights. Furthermore, he says the Arlington racetrack should remain a racetrack. I'm all for the nostalgia surrounding these claims, but he's just flat-out wrong.
Potential Move To Arlington Heights
The Chicago Bears announced recently that they placed a bid to purchase the land in which the Arlington racetrack sits. The rumors surrounding the Bears' potential move to Arlington Heights have circulated for many years now. Finally, there is some ground for those to stand on though.
Mike Ditka saying the Bears belong on the lakefront is like saying GoldenEye is the greatest video game ever, which is why you haven't upgraded your console from the N64. It's amazing, sure. It was way ahead of its time, I'll give you that. However, the times have changed and one of the oldest franchises in the NFL deserves a modern approach. Bears fans deserve a stadium to be proud of and Soldier Field is just not it.
This myth about "Bear weather" really needs to die already. Last time I checked, the Packers' Lambeau Field gets pretty dang cold and the Bears haven't beaten them consistently in decades. The last time the Bears swept the season series against Green Bay was in 2007. Since then, they've only beaten the Packers five out of the 26 regular-season games they've played. That "Bear weather" advantage didn't really do them a whole lot of good there.
Since 2010, the Bears have only hosted a "warm-weather" team at Soldier Field a total of nine times in the month of December. Of those nine games, they won five. Of those five games, only one win came against a team with a record better than 8-8. That game was December 9, 2018 against the Los Angeles Rams, who finished 13-3 and went on to the Super Bowl.
The only game in which the "Bear weather" could have played a significant role was against the Rams. Every other game was a loss or a victory against a team without a winning record. Apologies Ditka, but your argument about the Chicago Bears not needing a dome to play in doesn't hold up here.
The Chicago Bears should do whatever the hell they want. If they move to Arlington Heights and build a big, domed stadium with all the modern amenities, then they'll only add value to their franchise. They'll be able to host a Super Bowl, March Madness tournament, and more. None of those events I particularly care about, but they would be nice bonuses to a new stadium.
Soldier Field is historic, no doubt there, but it's a righteous pain in the butt to get to and from. The parking and tailgating are sub-par. The actual field the professionals play on is one of the worst in the league. There have been several players in the NFL who complained about the quality of the field. It is time for a change!
Mike Ditka is in his 80s now and his coaching era is long gone. It's time for one of the oldest franchises in the history of the NFL to upgrade one of the oldest stadiums in the NFL. That upgrade should be no where near the current battleground on the lakefront that is: Soldier Field. Da Coach.... is wrong.