(670 The Score) As the Bears continue to weigh their location options to potentially build a new stadium amid tension over a tax assessment in Arlington Heights, they met with Chicago mayor Brandon Johnson on Wednesday.
Afterward, the two sides released a joint statement attributed to Johnson and Bears president/CEO Kevin Warren. The comments were general in nature and didn’t reveal anything about the possibility of the Bears remaining in Chicago, be that at Soldier Field or by pursuing a new location in the city on which to build a stadium.
“We met and discussed our shared values and commitment to the city of Chicago, the importance of deep roots and the need for equitable community investment throughout the city,” the statement said. “We are both committed to the idea that the city and its major civic institutions must grow and evolve together to meet the needs of the future. We look forward to continuing the dialogue around these shared values.”
On Friday, the Bears announced that Arlington Heights is no longer their sole focus as a location to potentially build a new stadium. That revelation came as the Bears met with Naperville officials about potential locations to build a stadium in their municipality.
The reason the Bears are exploring other options is because of tension over tax assessments on their 326-acre Arlington Park property, which they paid $197 million to acquire. Last week, a settlement was reached between Churchill Downs Inc., the previous owner of Arlington Park, and three local school districts on a $95-million value for the property. Previously, the owner paid taxes based on a value of $33 million in 2021, according to reports. A key for the Bears is “seeking property tax certainty and support for infrastructure,” the team previously said in February.
As it has been for a long time, the expectation remains that the Bears will build a new stadium in Arlington Heights. The Bears are hoping to get the school districts around Arlington Heights to renegotiate the tax rate, a source told 670 The Score host Dan Bernstein.