News that the Chicago Bears have officially purchased Arlington International Racecourse ricocheted through the Northwest suburbs Wednesday, but many unknowns remain in a process that may, or may not, lead to a new NFL stadium in Arlington Heights.
A great deal of analysis and negotiations remain to be done, village leaders said. But the announcement Wednesday that the team bought the property for $197.2 million concludes more than a year of tentative negotiations between the village of Arlington Heights and the team as the Bears consider erecting a multibillion-dollar stadium and mixed-use commercial, residential and entertainment district on the 326-acre property.
Arlington Heights Village Manager Randy Recklaus said village staff is looking forward to working with the team and welcoming them to the area.
“We’re excited about this as a unique opportunity for us and appreciative that the Chicago Bears Football Club has chosen to make such a major investment in our community,” he said.
Just because the Bears have purchased the property doesn’t mean the team will build a new stadium there. Whatever they build, Recklaus said, Arlington Heights will need to vet the details of the project.
As part of that vetting, the village hired consultants to do traffic and economic impact analyses of the proposed development in late 2022.