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Chicago Bears Stadium Update!

The Chicago Bears unveiled details on the team’s plans for a new lakefront stadium Wednesday.

The Bears are planning to build a state-of-the-art, domed lakefront stadium costing an estimated $4.7 billion. The team is asking for the cost to be covered by a combination of public and private funding.

“We are excited to invest in the greatest city in the world to a stadium project and site improvements that will benefit Chicagoans and visitors,” Bears chairman George McCaskey said.

More than a year ago, the Bears unveiled a plan in Arlington Heights that included residential, hotel and retail space on more than 300 acres. And while they still own the land, they said their entire focus now is on the lakefront property.

The stadium plan has more than 70,000 seats under a fixed, translucent dome.

The new stadium would sit just south of Soldier Field, which would be torn down except for the historic colonnades. Those columns would then form part of the sweeping campus, which would feature parks, public areas and youth athletic fields.

The Bears also said the project would include creating more green space in the Museum Campus area and along the lakefront.

“Sports fields and gardens will replace the current stadium, with Soldier Field’s historic colonnades preserved as a tribute to Chicago’s military veterans,” the Bears said.

The release said $325 million is required to open the stadium, $510 million is required to maximize the stadium and surrounding campus and optional infrastructure to enhance the campus, improve circulation and maximize public economic benefits will total $665 million.

The mayor of Arlington Heights said he “expected” today’s news, but said he still thinks his city is the better option and that their proposal “would give the Bears everything they wanted,” including ownership of the stadium. Mayor Thomas Hayes also said if the lakefront stadium doesn’t work out, he’s open to building a stadium in Arlington Heights.

Vheck out some photo renderings here.