Arlington Heights Bears stadium: Residents favor team move but without tax incentives, poll shows

John Garcia Image
Thursday, August 25, 2022
EMBED <>More Videos

The Chicago Bears are still researching the sale for a new stadium in Arlington Heights and haven't closed at this point.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (WLS) -- The rooftop of the building that houses the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce may have a great view of the Chicago Bears stadium if they come to town, and the business community in Arlington Heights is ready.

"I'm not sure what it'll mean for our community but it'll be easier to get to a game," said Arlington Heights resident Mark Patterson.

A new poll suggests most Arlington Heights residents are in favor of the Bears coming to town as well. The poll, taken by the libertarian political group Americans for Prosperity, found nearly 72% of respondents approve of the Bears coming to Arlington Heights. The same poll, however, also found the majority of residents -- about 68% -- disapprove of tax incentives to encourage the Bears' move.

RELATED: Could Chicago Bears build stadium like SoFi on racecourse land in Arlington Heights?

"We're totally OK with it if they decide they're gonna come here and pay the same taxes as everybody else," said Brian Costin, state director with Americans for Prosperity.

A new poll found nearly 72% of respondents approve of the Bears coming to Arlington Heights.

"Any tax revenue put on the table is gonna be future revenue that'll come from the development. It's not gonna come from the taxpayers here in the community," said John Ridler, with the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce.

RELATED: New Chicago Bears stadium in Arlington Heights won't be paid for by IL taxpayers, Gov. Pritzker says

Americans for Prosperity also opposes Mayor Lori Lightfoot's plan put a roof on Soldier Field, which is owned by the Chicago Park District. The mayor or Arlington Heights responded in a statement saying, "...Any discussion of public financing is premature at this point. We are doing our best to ensure that a Bears move to Arlington Heights is a 'win-win' for both the team and our residents."

The same poll, however, also found the majority of residents -- about 68% -- disapprove of tax incentives to encourage the Bears' move.

Employees in downtown Arlington Heights are all in favor.

RELATED: Soldier Field turf blasted by NFLPA officials following Bears Saturday preseason opener

"I think it'll bring a lot of business here and we'll make really good money," said Merissa Daskauskas at Cortland's Garage.

The Bears are still researching the sale and haven't closed at this point. Many business leaders, however, are hoping that may happen by the end of the year or early next year.