Lightfoot on Bears' future at Soldier Field: 'We're going to keep on talking to them'


(670 The Score) The Bears have signed a purchase and sale agreement to acquire the 326-acre Arlington Park property in northwest suburban Arlington Heights, but the city of Chicago isn’t giving up hope yet to keep the charter franchise along the lakefront at Soldier Field.

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The city and Bears have been engaged in discussions about the team’s future at Soldier Field, mayor Lori Lightfoot said on the Mully & Haugh Show on Monday morning. When the Bears revealed in late September they had signed the purchasing agreement with Churchill Downs Inc. in what represented a big step to potentially moving to the suburbs, Lightfoot said the organization was refusing to negotiate with the city.

“We’re talking to them,” Lightfoot said Monday. “But as I said before, they’ve got to be more forthcoming about what they want. We’re going to continue full speed. We’ll be announcing later this week a team that’s going to look at the entire campus to see how we maximize all the assets there. And look, as I said, I’m a longtime, long-suffering Bears season-ticket holder. So I’m going to keep working to keep them in Chicago. But we’ve also got to look at how do we make this deal better for the taxpayers of Chicago? Because there’s things we’re not getting that we should get. So there’s a lot of different layers to this conversation, and we’re going to keep on talking to them.”

The Bears' purchase agreement for the Arlington Park property is for $197 million, according to reports. They have a lease at Soldier Field – which is owned by the Chicago Park District – that runs through 2033.

The Bears’ penalty for breaking the Soldier Field lease would start at $84 million in 2026, the Chicago Tribune previously reported. 2026 is widely considered the first year in which a new stadium could ready for the Bears when factoring in the process of acquiring the site and then designing and building the facility.