It’s hard to imagine a new Bears stadium in Arlington Park, where there is still a racetrack. It doesn’t get in the way anymore.
Arlington Heights issued an interior demolition permit to the Bears on Friday, and a Bears spokeswoman said the project will begin next week. The Bears require separate approval from the village and Cook County for exterior demolition.
The Bears closed the site in February, reiterating that they were proceeding with the sole intention of building Arlington Heights Stadium. They have shown no interest in plans to renovate Soldier Field as their home base.
“Sometimes change is hard, but sometimes change is necessary,” President George McCuskey said at the NFL Annual Meeting in March.
The Bears began looking to exit Soldier Field, where they’ve been playing since 1971, two years ago by bidding for their Arlington Park property. The Chicago Park District-owned Soldier Field’s lease runs through 2033, but an early exit could be negotiated.