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Bears no longer “focused” on Arlington Heights, now eyeing Naperville

The Chicago Bears are exploring more options for a suburban stadium following a tax hiccup in Arlington Heights that puts in jeopardy the deal to move into Arlington Park.

In a statement to NBC Chicago, the Bears said while they are still working on the Arlington Heights location, “it is no longer our singular focus.”

“The Chicago Bears goal of building the largest single development project in Illinois history led by billions of dollars in private capital investment, and the jobs and economic benefits generated, is at risk in Arlington Heights,” the team’s statement read. “The stadium-based project remains broadly popular in Arlington Heights, Chicagoland and the state. However, the property’s original assessment at five times the 2021 tax value, and the recent settlement with Churchill Downs for 2022 being three times higher, fails to reflect the property is not operational and not commercially viable in its current state. We will continue the ongoing demolition activity and work toward a path forward in Arlington Heights, but it is no longer our singular focus.  It is our responsibility to listen to other municipalities in Chicagoland about potential locations that can deliver on this transformational opportunity for our fans, our club and the State of Illinois.”

A spokesperson for Naperville also confirmed Mayor Scott Wehrli reached out to the Bears in an effort to entice them to move to Naperville.