The Bears used the Arlington bid to squeeze Chicago on the soldiers’ court; the mayor said they should focus on getting better

On Thursday, the Bears tried to gain influence in negotiations with the City of Chicago on the upgrade of the Soldier Field. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot disagrees.

First, the team announced that it had submitted a bid to acquire the Arlington International Racecourse property in Arlington Heights, Illinois, which is about an hour’s drive northwest of the stadium. Then Lightfoot reminded that the Bears’ Soldier Field lease would last until 2033, and she shot a few shots at the team.

“This is obviously a negotiating strategy the Bears have used before,” Lightford wrote on Twitter. “As a season ticket holder and a long-time Bears fan, I am committed to retaining the’Chicago’ name on our football team. Like most Bears fans, we want the organization to focus on making a winning ball The team came on the field and defeating the Packers finally became meaningful after October. Everything else is noise.”

For the sake of accuracy, the Bears entered the expanded NFC playoffs with an 8-8 record last season. They lost to the Saints in the wild card game. In fact, Chicago has entered the playoffs in the past three years (2018, 2020) under the leadership of coach Matt Nagy, and completed the playoffs with an 8-8 score when it missed the playoffs in 2019. . However, it lost the last four games against the Packers.

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Ted Phillips, President and CEO of the Bears, said in the team’s statement that the team “has an obligation to ensure that we are doing the best for our organization and its future.”

It is not clear what the Bears’ offer for the 326-acre Arlington property.

Soldier Field on the shores of Lake Michigan, Opened in 1924A major renovation in 2003 transformed the exterior of the stadium into a modern NFL facility. The Bears started playing there after leaving Wrigley Field in 1971.

Lightfoot told reporters in April that Soldier Field is a “great iconic location” but also a “challenging location.” She sounds willing to work with the team to make more upgrades.

“I think that as a city, we have the responsibility to strengthen and study that we can ensure that the Bears fans and the Bears as an organization have the best chance to maximize the fan experience and, of course, maximize revenue.” She said that according to the Chicago Tribune.

Arlington International Racecourse was once one of the country’s premier thoroughbred racecourses. It is famous for the lawn field. Churchill Downs, the current owner of the track, listed the property for sale in February. The race on the track will end on September 25.

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