Another suburb is trying to lure the Bears out of Chicago. Richton Park is now the fifth suburb vying to become home of the Bears. The village president of the south suburb is the latest official to reach out to the Chicago team.
In a letter sent Friday to Bears President and CEO Kevin Warren, Rick Reinbold said, “I understand how the complexity of completing a stadium deal at the former Arlington Park site can be frustrating. Allow me to interest you in greenfield opportunities awaiting the Bears in Richton Park!”
He went on to highlight how the south suburb is “lively and diverse,” just 30 minutes from downtown Chicago and easily accessible via highways and Metra.
Reinbold said the community of about 13,000 people on the far southern outskirts of the Chicago area owns about 1,000 acres of farmland just west of I-57, off of Sauk Trail Road. And he says that would be a perfect location for a new Bears stadium because it’s close to two interstates and two Metra Electric stops.
“There would be very little site prep that is needed,” said Reinbold. “The majority of it is farm field at this time, so you’re not having to tear buildings down.”
Aurora, Naperville and Waukegan have all reached out to the team, after Warren said the team is “In a position to start exploring other places and opportunities and no longer considers Arlington Heights as a singular focus.”
The Bears purchased a race track in Arlington Heights and crews have begun demolition of the site.
Chicago is, of course, trying to keep the team at Soldier Field.
Earlier this year, former Mayor Lori Lightfoot pitched plans to renovate Solider Field to entice the team to stay in the city. Mayor Brandon Johnson met with Chicago Bears management in June to talk about keeping the team at Soldier Field.
The Bears have yet to make an official announcement about whether they intend to move out of the city.
“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,” the Bears said in a statement.
For now, the team’s options are open.