ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

Chicago Bears schedule a Wednesday announcement on new stadium near lakefront

Apr 23, 2024, 6:30 AM | Updated: 1:52 pm

The Chicago Bears logo is pictured on a flag prior to an NFL football game...

FILE - The Chicago Bears logo is pictured on a flag prior to an NFL football game between the Chicago Bears and Denver Broncos, Oct. 1, 2023, in Chicago. The Chicago Bears have scheduled a Wednesday, April 24, 2024, news conference to announce plans for “a state-of-the-art, publicly owned enclosed stadium” on the city's Museum Campus near Lake Michigan. The announcement Monday, April 22, said the plans also call for additional green and open space with access to the lakefront. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski, File)

(AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski, File)

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bears have scheduled a Wednesday news conference to announce plans for “a state-of-the-art, publicly owned enclosed stadium” on the city’s Museum Campus near Lake Michigan.

The announcement Monday said the plans also call for additional green and open space with access to the lakefront.

The team said last month it was prepared to provide more than $2 billion in funding toward a publicly owned stadium in the city.

“The future stadium of the Chicago Bears will bring a transformative opportunity to our region — boosting the economy, creating jobs, facilitating mega events and generating millions in tax revenue,” team president Kevin Warren said March 11.

Warren’s statement signaled a shift in focus away from building a new home in the suburbs.

The new stadium would be very close to their current one, Soldier Field which has been the Bears’ home since 1971. The team’s lease there runs through 2033.

The Bears spent $197.2 million more than a year ago to purchase the site of the shuttered Arlington International Racecourse from Churchill Downs Inc. in suburban Arlington Heights. The team envisioned building a stadium on the 326-acre (131 hectare) tract of land some 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of Soldier Field, with restaurants, retail and more on the property — all for about $5 billion, with some taxpayer help.

The Bears said they would pay for the stadium in Arlington Heights, with taxpayer dollars covering infrastructure costs such as roads and sewers. Those plans stalled, with the team citing a property assessment it said was too high.

Mayor Brandon Johnson has made it clear he wants to keep the team in the city.

“I have said all along that meaningful private investment and a strong emphasis on public benefit are my requirements for public-private partnerships in our city,” Johnson said last month.

Related: Utah lawmakers pass bill for new downtown NBA/NHL arena

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Chicago Bears schedule a Wednesday announcement on new stadium near lakefront