Bears holding Arlington Park meeting Thursday night
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — The Bears held an informational meeting on their potential Arlington Park development Thursday night.
It follows multiple renderings the team released on Tuesday of a potential “multi-entertainment district” surrounding the stadium. Specific renderings of the stadium were not released, but the Bears said they are seeking an “enclosed” one.
In the entertainment district, the Bears are seeking a hotel, sportsbook, restaurants, open space, commercial and residential spaces. It could give the area the chance at hosting events like the Super Bowl, Final Four and major concerts.
“The stars are lined up for the Bears,” said season ticket holder Brian Yantis. “They’ve never had an opportunity like this — specifically with Arlington park going out of business. That property is a jewel.”
The Bears said the project would create 48,000 construction jobs and 9,700 long-term jobs. It would have a potential $9.4 billion construction economic impact, generating $1.4 billion annually.
The Village of Arlington Heights would see an annual tax revenue of $16 million — $9.8 million for Cook County and more than $1 million for Illinois.
“I think short term, it will be a great impact but long term, we’re looking at the kind of revenue, the income stream that could bring the businesses that suffered through Covid, lost employees and just lost income — especially our Hispanic businesses,” said Executive Director of the Northwest Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Mario Farfan.
The Bears have not laid out a solid financial plan for the project, saying only they would fund the stadium and seek financial assistance for the rest.
Some residents said they are concerned because property taxes are already going up from a recent school bond that passed.
The Bears open up the 2022 season Sunday against the 49ers at Soldier Field.
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