Last fall the Bears released an open letter confirming that they had reached an agreement to acquire 326 acres of property in Arlington Heights "to secure the potential of beginning a new and exciting chapter for the Bears, our fans, the Chicagoland community, and the State of Illinois."
The organization released a second open letter Wednesday, announcing that it has closed on the Arlington Park Property, describing it as "another step toward realizing" the vision that was stated in the first open letter last fall.
The Bears stressed, however, that closing on the property does not necessarily mean that a new stadium will be built on the site.
"Finalizing the purchase does not guarantee the land will be developed, but it is an important next step in our ongoing evaluation of the opportunity," the letter reads. "There is still a tremendous amount of due diligence work to be done to determine if constructing an enclosed state-of-the-art stadium and multi-purpose entertainment district is feasible."
Other highlights from Wednesday's letter include the following:
- If the Bears proceed, the development of the Arlington Heights property would be one of the largest mega-projects in Midwest history. Possible construction of a stadium-anchored development is projected by analysts to create more than 48,000 jobs, generate $9.4 billion in economic impact for the Chicagoland economy and provide $3.9 billion in new labor income to workers across the region.
- The Bears will continue to work closely with the Village of Arlington Heights, surrounding municipalities and their residents to solicit extensive feedback on how they can best benefit local communities and Bears fans across Illinois.
- If a stadium is constructed, the Bears will not seek taxpayer funds for the structure. The project would, however, require assistance to ensure feasibility, including securing property tax certainty and support for infrastructure commensurate with the public benefits the project will yield to the region.