Chicago Bears CEO says team needs dome-covered stadium, weighs Arlington Heights option

Tre Ward Image
Tuesday, June 27, 2023
Bears CEO weighs Arlington Heights as option for team's new home
Touchdown Arlington Heights held a meeting with Chicago Bears CEO Kevin Warren about the team's possible move to the Arlington Park racecourse.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- While a decision on whether or not the Chicago Bears will move to Arlington Heights was not made on Monday night, the team's CEO, Kevin Warren, says wherever they go, the plan will be to build the best stadium in sports.

A bulldozer ripped through what remains of the former Arlington International Racecourse, where Anthony Balsley grew up coming to with his mother, who worked here for decades.

"As we always said, we would rather have the Bears be here than it be condos," Balsley said.

SEE ALSO | Chicago Bears move forward with Arlington Heights demolition despite apparent undecided future

While the Bears have purchased the property with the possibility of building a mixed-used stadium, whether the team will make Arlington Heights its new home still in limbo while other cities are vying for the team, too.

"For us to go forward on this and not have fairness and certainty, just from a purely business relationship standpoint, I think you all would question if we did go forward," Warren said.

The group Touchdown Arlington Heights hosted Warren at the Metropolis Center to share his experience with stadium development with other community and business leaders and what it will take to bring the team to Arlington Heights.

The Bears recently heard pitches from not only the city of Chicago, but Naperville, Lake Forest and Waukegan, too.

"It definitely needs to be a dome-covered stadium," Warren said. "Because, that would afford us the opportunity for 365-days-a-year activation."

Warren said the key to possibly seeing this development through is by both stakeholders and his team remaining transparent throughout the process and keeping communications open.

READ MORE | Waukegan mayor invites Chicago Bears to consider move to suburban city

Supporters of the team relocating to Arlington Heights say they're eager to see the move done.

"I think politics have gotten in the way of making Arlington racecourse the future home of the Bears, and we need to move forward and make an opportunity that works for our community, for our schools and all the constituents that live here in the region," said Holly Connors with Touchdown Arlington Heights.

Warren also said he hasn't spoken to anyone with the local school districts in Arlington Heights in months, and is eager to continue those conversations.