The Washington Post
Bears plan to build ‘best-in-class’ enclosed stadium
The Chicago Bears plan to build an enclosed suburban stadium that could host Super Bowls, College Football Playoff games and Final Fours.
The Bears released conceptual illustrations Tuesday of the proposed stadium and entertainment complex that would be built on the site of a former horse racing track in Arlington Heights, Ill. The Bears said the project could include restaurants, office space, a hotel, a fitness center, new parks and open areas as well as “other improvements for the community to enjoy.”
“We envision a multi-purpose entertainment district anchored by a new, best-in-class enclosed stadium, providing Chicagoland with a new home worthy of hosting global events such as the Super Bowl, College Football Playoffs, and Final Four,” the team said in a statement.
The Bears said they would not seek public funding for the stadium if the sale of the 326-acre property is completed and if they decide to move there. But they would seek taxpayer assistance for the rest of the project.
The organization signed a purchase agreement last year for the tract of land, which is about 30 miles northwest of Soldier Field. Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips, who announced last week that he will retire after this season, has said a deal probably wouldn’t close until early 2023.
The Bears’ lease at Soldier Field, where the team has played since 1971, runs through 2033.
In July, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) proposed three options for renovating the stadium. One included enclosing it, and another called for rebuilding both end zones with columns that could support a dome. A third option was to modify it to be a multipurpose facility better suited for soccer.
The Bears said Tuesday that they will not consider Soldier Field renovations or explore any other stadium sites while they are under contract for the property in Arlington Heights.
“Much remains to be decided, but any decision will be made in the best interests of the Bears’ long-term future, our fans and the Chicagoland community,” the team said.
The Bears did not mention what the seating capacity would be at a new stadium, nor potential costs to construct the stadium or develop the rest of the property. They said construction would create more than 48,000 jobs as well as $9.4 billion in economic impact for the region. They estimate the completed project would add 9,750 long-term jobs and $1.4 billion in annual economic impact.
Soldier Field is owned by the Chicago Park District and underwent a $690 million transformation in 2002 that led to the loss of the stadium’s National Historic Landmarks Program designation.
The renovation reduced seating for Bears games to 61,500, smallest in the NFL.
• FALCONS: Atlanta named Drew Dalman as its starting center for Sunday’s opener against the New Orleans Saints.
Dalman, a fourth-round draft pick in 2021, alternated with Matt Hennessy, a third-round pick in 2020, on the first-team offense during the preseason. Hennessy started all 17 games last season.
Drake London, the team’s firstround pick this season, is listed as a starting wide receiver after missing much of the preseason with a knee injury.
• BUCCANEERS: Chris Godwin said he believes he will have the final say on whether he plays Sunday at the Dallas Cowboys but added being on the field with Tampa Bay for the second half of the season is more important.
Godwin tore his ACL and medial collateral ligament in a loss to the New Orleans Saints on Dec. 19. He had surgery Jan. 3 and shed the knee brace for the first time Monday in practice.
Appearing on the “In the Moment” podcast with David Greene, Godwin was asked whether he would play in Week 1.
“I would imagine I have the final say,” Godwin said. “It’s going to come down to feel, because I understand what I’m capable of doing on the field when healthy. But I also understand what I’m capable of pushing through.”
He added, “I would love to be there for the entire season, but I think what’s more important is being there for the second half of the season.”
• CHIEFS: Former Kansas City assistant coach Britt Reid is scheduled to enter a plea Monday to felony driving while intoxicated causing serious injury after a 2021 car crash that seriously injured a young girl.
Reid, son of Chiefs Coach Andy Reid, is expected to plead guilty, Jackson County (Mo.) Circuit Court records show. He was scheduled to go to trial Sept. 26.
He faces up to seven years in prison, the Kansas City Star reported.
Police said Reid was intoxicated and speeding when he hit two parked cars on an entrance ramp near Arrowhead Stadium in February 2021. A girl in one of the cars, Ariel Young, who was 5 at the time, suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Reid, who underwent emergency surgery for a groin injury after the crash, was placed on administrative leave. His role with the team ended after the Chiefs allowed his contract to expire.
The Chiefs in November reached a confidential agreement with Ariel Young’s family to pay for her ongoing medical treatment and other expenses.
• OBITUARY: Guy Morriss, a 15-year NFL offensive lineman who played in the Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots before coaching collegiately at Baylor and Kentucky, died. He was 71.
Kentucky announced that Morriss died Monday in Danville, Ky. Athletics spokesman Tony Neely confirmed the school was informed by his family.
No cause of death was specified in a release, but Morriss was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2017.