After years of talks and negotiations with Chicago officials, several league sources indicated that the Bears are strongly expected to move to Arlington Heights, Illinois, in 2026, when the team can buy its way out of its lease at Solider Field. The team reached agreement on the purchase of Arlington International Racecourse, with a definite eye toward stadium construction.
"This isn't for leverage," said one source with direct knowledge of the situation. "It is very likely to happen. It's the right move."
The Bears have the ability to terminate their current lease roughly five years from under existing terms, and have been unable to figure out a solution to the stadium issue. Soldier Field has the lowest seating capacity in the NFL and is limited in terms of expansion. The Bears would also be able to develop the area surrounding the stadium in Arlington Heights, creating a potential mixed-use area and entertainment zone.
Soldier Field was renovated in 2002 and the Bears have called it home since 1971. The team agreed to a price just under $200M for the land and the sale should officially close within a year.
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