Lori Lightfoot calls Bears' Arlington Park bid a 'negotiating tactic,' says focus should be on 'beating the Packers finally'

Lightfoot wants the Bears to be "relevant past October."

(670 The Score) Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday blasted the Bears' bid to purchase Arlington Park, saying it's a "negotiating tactic" with the city over Soldier Field and that their focus should be on football.

Lightfoot issued a statement in light of the Bears revealing they formally placed a bid on Arlington Park. The team currently leases Soldier Field, its home since 1971, through 2033. The property is owned by the Chicago Park District.

"The Bears are locked into a lease at Soldier Field until 2033," Lightfoot said in a statement, which she initially deleted from Twitter. "In addition, this announcement from the Bears comes in the midst of negotiations for improvements at Soldier Field. This is clearly a negotiating tactic that the Bears have used before.

"And like most Bears fans, we want the organization to focus on putting a winning team on the field, beating the Packers finally and being relevant past October. Everything else is noise."

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The Bears could break their lease at Soldier Field, allowing them to leave for another location.

Arlington Park, which has been put up for sale by Churchill Downs Inc., is currently occupied by Arlington International Racecourse. The site is hosting what's expected to be its last season of horse racing in Arlington Heights.

The 326-acre property, which is located 30 miles from downtown Chicago, runs adjacent to trains and is close to multiple expressways.

"We recently submitted a bit to purchase the Arlington International Racecourse property," Bears team president Ted Phillips said in a statement earlier Thursday. "It's our obligation to explore every possible option to ensure we're doi