Bears place bid to purchase Arlington Park

The Bears said this would give them the opportunity to "further evaluate the property."

(670 The Score) The Bears formally placed a bid to purchase the property occupied by Arlington International Racecourse, the team announced Thursday afternoon.

Arlington Park, which is run by Churchill Downs Inc., is currently for sale and is expected to be demolished by its next owner. The Bears' lease on Soldier Field runs through 2033.

"We recently submitted a bit to purchase the Arlington International Racecourse property," Bears team president Ted Phillips said in a statement. "It's our obligation to explore every possible option to ensure we're doing what's best for our organization and it's future. If selected, this step allows us to further evaluate the property and its potential."

The Bears have played at Soldier Field since 1971. However, the facility is owned by the Chicago Park District and not the team.

Arlington Park, which is located 30 miles from downtown Chicago in Arlington Heights, is running what's expected to be its last year of horse racing. The property runs alongside a Metra train line that connects to the city and is located near multiple expressways.

On Tuesday, Arlington Heights mayor Tom Hayes joined the Parkins & Spiegel Show to discuss the possibility of the Bears relocating to Arlington Park. Hayes was asked about the seriousness of the Bears' interest and whether they could be using the site as potential leverage for the organization to get what it wants from the city in regards to Soldier Field.