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Grizzled wrote: Sat Jun 17, 2023 12:31 pm
Moriarty wrote: Sat Jun 17, 2023 8:10 am

And the previous renovation is nowhere near paid off.
From the Chicago Tribune: "...in the event the Bears were to leave Chicago for the northwest suburbs without reaching such a settlement, a damages clause in the lease requires the team to pay 150% of the money it owes on the remainder of the lease to the city within 30 days. The fewer years left on the lease, the smaller the payment becomes.

If the Bears were to break the lease five years from now, in 2026 (my note, assumes the new stadium is ready for the 2027 season), the team would have to pay $84 million in damages to the city." A mere bag of shells.
Yep

For anyone wondering how these stadium deals actually work for Cities. This is how: Badly
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Grizzled wrote: Sat Jun 17, 2023 8:07 am
duckherd50 wrote: Fri Jun 16, 2023 9:01 pm I apologize for not reading this thread. But, I do have a question that may or may not have been discussed within the thread. I am not from Chicago and have never been to the city. However, why is tearing down Soldier Field and building a new stadium in the same location not an option?
The Bears don't own Soldiers Field and get no revenues from naming rights, concerts held there, etc. The team wants that. I honestly have no idea what it would take, permit wise, for it to be demolished. I'm sure, despite its shortcomings, that there would be significant opposition to tearing it down. I also don't know if the land could be sold to the Bears, it's Park District property.
Doesn't Soldier Field have "Landmark status" or Historical Site listing? The Collonades cannot be torn down. It is at the minimum a Chicago Landmark. I could never see the PD or City agreeing to that. Plus, it is a bad location. I was only at the pre-Remodel Soldier Fields for games. It was a pain in the ass to walk there from any of the parking areas across the tracks. Never ever had the chance at a parking pass.
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Shadow wrote: Mon Jun 19, 2023 11:00 am
Grizzled wrote: Sat Jun 17, 2023 8:07 am

The Bears don't own Soldiers Field and get no revenues from naming rights, concerts held there, etc. The team wants that. I honestly have no idea what it would take, permit wise, for it to be demolished. I'm sure, despite its shortcomings, that there would be significant opposition to tearing it down. I also don't know if the land could be sold to the Bears, it's Park District property.
Doesn't Soldier Field have "Landmark status" or Historical Site listing? The Collonades cannot be torn down. It is at the minimum a Chicago Landmark. I could never see the PD or City agreeing to that. Plus, it is a bad location. I was only at the pre-Remodel Soldier Fields for games. It was a pain in the ass to walk there from any of the parking areas across the tracks. Never ever had the chance at a parking pass.
From what I believe I read, it lost its National Historic Landmark status with the renovations in the early '2000s. I've only been to pre-remodelled games but, yes, the walk from garages was pretty long. Soldier's Field and the McCormick Place East sites are considerably smaller than AH and wouldn't offer the Bears the potential windfalls from development even if a deal could be struck to buy SF.
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Sportsmockery: Kevin Warren Spoke On Bears’ Stalled Stadium Talks. And He Had Lots To Say

"Everything appeared on course for the Chicago Bears a few months ago. They’d officially closed on the sale for Arlington Racecourse International, securing 326 acres of real estate to do with as they please. It was an obvious indication the franchise aimed to finally build a new stadium they could own and operate themselves, no longer beholden to the Chicago Park District. Things were coming together well.

Until they weren’t. News soon came out that negotiations had reached an impasse with Cook County politicians. It reached such a deadlock that team president Kevin Warren decided to receive pitches from other townships in the Chicagoland area, such as Naperville and Waukegan."


Article continues here: https://www.sportsmockery.com/chicago-b ... ts-to-say/

BOTTOM LINE: Warren is doing exactly what he was hired to do - run this stadium deal like a seasoned pro.
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Aurora joins rush for Bears’ new stadium

Another suburban player has joined the blitz to land a new stadium for the Chicago Bears.

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin sent a “letter of interest” this week inviting team president Kevin Warren to consider Illinois’ second-largest city as a destination for the multibillion-dollar dome of their dreams, as the Bears field alternate options during a property tax stalemate over their freshly purchased land in Arlington Heights.

“The opportunity to partner with the historic Chicago Bears as you search for the perfect new home is one we are eager to take on,” Irvin wrote in the two-page letter, portions of which were released by Aurora officials late Tuesday. “Welcoming a historic organization such as the Chicago Bears would enhance our bold vision for Aurora and will provide the Chicago Bears with a new home to begin the next phase of your storied history.”

Irvin noted his city’s easy access off Interstate 88 and Metra’s BNSF line as part of “the exciting opportunity Aurora can bring to the world-famous Chicago Bears.”

A spokesman for the suburb said team representatives “responded quickly and positively” to Aurora’s entreaty.

Bears officials couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, but they haven’t said much about any of the suburban invitations they’ve received this month other than that it’s their “responsibility to listen” to all pitches for “this transformational opportunity for our fans, our club and the state of Illinois.”
...

Full article: https://chicago.suntimes.com/politics/2 ... ights-move
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Cooler heads will prevail in Arlington Heights and Cook County. As someone mentioned, this is how negotiations at this level work. It's rarely a linear path of sunshine and rainbows. The deal will get done in AH, that's why Kevin Warren is here.
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Bears Whiskey Nut wrote: Wed Jun 28, 2023 8:49 am Cooler heads will prevail in Arlington Heights and Cook County. As someone mentioned, this is how negotiations at this level work. It's rarely a linear path of sunshine and rainbows. The deal will get done in AH, that's why Kevin Warren is here.
Yep. AH just needed to be reminded that they aren’t the only game in town.
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IotaNet wrote: Wed Jun 28, 2023 8:58 am
Bears Whiskey Nut wrote: Wed Jun 28, 2023 8:49 am Cooler heads will prevail in Arlington Heights and Cook County. As someone mentioned, this is how negotiations at this level work. It's rarely a linear path of sunshine and rainbows. The deal will get done in AH, that's why Kevin Warren is here.
Yep. AH just needed to be reminded that they aren’t the only game in town.
Here's a piece from a few days ago that sheds some interesting light on the matter relating to the value for tax purposes. It appears that Cook county is divided into 4 sections for appraisal purpose (might be three but I think it was 4) and they rotate doing the appraisals year to year. They did a special appraisal of the track and raised the value, thus resulting in more tax liability. Seemed odd to me that they would do the special appraisal and even odder that they would raise the value, even more so given they were taking down the existing structures. But they get to do it for "special circumstances." This process stinks to me.

Granted how that is handled up there could be different from what I have to deal with from time to time. But if someone contest their appraised property value and it makes it to court (there are a bunch of admin hearings that go on first, which the article reflected was the same up there), the gets to review the findings of the county assessor to make sure they didn't act arbitrarily in their assessment. In determining that the court has to look at the value AT THE TIME OF THE ASSESSMENT. I simply find it hard to rationalize that the value of the land with all structures being removed is greater than it was before that. I would also think it is very arbitrary to reassess one parcel just because there is public knowledge of the sale. The problem for the Bears is this process could take a few years to get resolved with all the administrative hearings and then the court process.

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Arkansasbear wrote: Wed Jun 28, 2023 9:24 am
IotaNet wrote: Wed Jun 28, 2023 8:58 am
Yep. AH just needed to be reminded that they aren’t the only game in town.
Here's a piece from a few days ago that sheds some interesting light on the matter relating to the value for tax purposes. It appears that Cook county is divided into 4 sections for appraisal purpose (might be three but I think it was 4) and they rotate doing the appraisals year to year. They did a special appraisal of the track and raised the value, thus resulting in more tax liability. Seemed odd to me that they would do the special appraisal and even odder that they would raise the value, even more so given they were taking down the existing structures. But they get to do it for "special circumstances." This process stinks to me.

Granted how that is handled up there could be different from what I have to deal with from time to time. But if someone contest their appraised property value and it makes it to court (there are a bunch of admin hearings that go on first, which the article reflected was the same up there), the gets to review the findings of the county assessor to make sure they didn't act arbitrarily in their assessment. In determining that the court has to look at the value AT THE TIME OF THE ASSESSMENT. I simply find it hard to rationalize that the value of the land with all structures being removed is greater than it was before that. I would also think it is very arbitrary to reassess one parcel just because there is public knowledge of the sale. The problem for the Bears is this process could take a few years to get resolved with all the administrative hearings and then the court process.

https://beargoggleson.com/posts/chicago ... naperville
This is all politics and posturing. The tax assessor had to "take a shot" to protect his/herself politically. AH is holding all the cards since they know that's where the Bears want to be. (Until they don't)

The Bears are going to play hardball and also "explore all their options" to let AH know that they won't be punked.

For the most part, it's theater, and to be expected when these kinds of $$$ are on the table. As I've said before, the right palms have to be greased and the right interests have to get their turn at the feeding trough.
Last edited by IotaNet on Thu Jun 29, 2023 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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For 2022, the Cook County Assessor quintupled the property tax for a piece of land that, at the moment, wasn’t commercially viable and wouldn't be for some time. It was valued at $197M; the prior assessment was $33M in 2021. The property taxes would increase from $2.8M to $16.2M. The last deal between Churchill Downs, the Cook County Assessor, and the school districts was an agreement for the former owner of the racecourse to pay $7.8 million in property taxes for last year based on a $95 million valuation but that was a one year deal. Warren has countered with a $52M figure for the property assessment. He said the Bears offered to pay three school districts $4.3M, $1.5M more than Churchill Downs was paying.

It took some digging but I read a figure of about $2B to demolish Soldier's Field and build a new stadium in its place. The Bears would have to be able to buy the property from the Park District and the parking situation is pretty dire down there so there are obviously some truly major roadblocks to the Bears staying in the city. It would give the city a nice chunk of change for some of their new objectives if the Bears did purchase the property.
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An Arlington Heights resident has started a petition drive to recall the mayor and a trustee of AH over what he's calling their inability to prioritize the interests and welfare of the citizens. He has 4 months to collect signatures from 12% of village residents, approximatwly 6500 persons, to get the measure on the November ballot. The resident is against the Bears development plans.
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Grizzled wrote: Fri Jul 07, 2023 11:40 am An Arlington Heights resident has started a petition drive to recall the mayor and a trustee of AH over what he's calling their inability to prioritize the interests and welfare of the citizens. He has 4 months to collect signatures from 12% of village residents, approximatwly 6500 persons, to get the measure on the November ballot. The resident is against the Bears development plans.
Seriously just change the plans to Naperville or Schaumburg.

Schaumburg would actually be perfect.

The biggest RE development in IL over the past how many decades and the tone of the local government and residents is this.

Go somewhere where the Bears will be appreciated.

The McCaskeys could still keep that land and develop it for other purposes. They’d make a killing.
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The Marshall Plan wrote: Fri Jul 07, 2023 12:30 pm
Grizzled wrote: Fri Jul 07, 2023 11:40 am An Arlington Heights resident has started a petition drive to recall the mayor and a trustee of AH over what he's calling their inability to prioritize the interests and welfare of the citizens. He has 4 months to collect signatures from 12% of village residents, approximatwly 6500 persons, to get the measure on the November ballot. The resident is against the Bears development plans.
Seriously just change the plans to Naperville or Schaumburg.

Schaumburg would actually be perfect.

The biggest RE development in IL over the past how many decades and the tone of the local government and residents is this.

Go somewhere where the Bears will be appreciated.

The McCaskeys could still keep that land and develop it for other purposes. They’d make a killing.
There will be some opposition no matter where they decide to build, even if they (very unlikely) stay in Chicago. I doubt this recall gets a lot of traction.
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IotaNet wrote: Wed Jun 28, 2023 3:56 pm
Arkansasbear wrote: Wed Jun 28, 2023 9:24 am

Here's a piece from a few days ago that sheds some interesting light on the matter relating to the value for tax purposes. It appears that Cook county is divided into 4 sections for appraisal purpose (might be three but I think it was 4) and they rotate doing the appraisals year to year. They did a special appraisal of the track and raised the value, thus resulting in more tax liability. Seemed odd to me that they would do the special appraisal and even odder that they would raise the value, even more so given they were taking down the existing structures. But they get to do it for "special circumstances." This process stinks to me.

Granted how that is handled up there could be different from what I have to deal with from time to time. But if someone contest their appraised property value and it makes it to court (there are a bunch of admin hearings that go on first, which the article reflected was the same up there), the gets to review the findings of the county assessor to make sure they didn't act arbitrarily in their assessment. In determining that the court has to look at the value AT THE TIME OF THE ASSESSMENT. I simply find it hard to rationalize that the value of the land with all structures being removed is greater than it was before that. I would also think it is very arbitrary to reassess one parcel just because there is public knowledge of the sale. The problem for the Bears is this process could take a few years to get resolved with all the administrative hearings and then the court process.

https://beargoggleson.com/posts/chicago ... naperville
This is all politics and posturing. The tax assessor had to "take a shot" to protect his/herself politically. AH is holding all the cards since they know that's where the Bears want to be. (Until they don't)

The Bears are going to play hardball and also "explore all their options" to let AH know that they won't be punked.

For the most part, it's theater, and to be expected when these kinds of $$$ are on the table. As I've said before, the right palms have to be greased and the right interests have to get their turn at the feeding trough.
I believe this nails it about as well as it can be nailed. It's all about maximizing the tax base for the city and county so they make a move that's nearly assured of failing but like any negotiation they want to start off as high as they can reasonably justify then posture as much as they can before agreeing to settle on somewhat less. The Bears have already committed money to buying the site so it will still be their first choice but they want the other side to understand it's not their only choice. It's a high stakes poker game and each side is testing the others resolve with some opening bets.

It's been decades since I've lived there but I doubt much if anything has changed in Crook County.
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I don't think its a particularly Cook County thing.

Franchises have a legal monopoly and use that power to get sweetheart deals.
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Bearfacts wrote: Sat Jul 08, 2023 1:28 am
IotaNet wrote: Wed Jun 28, 2023 3:56 pm This is all politics and posturing. The tax assessor had to "take a shot" to protect his/herself politically. AH is holding all the cards since they know that's where the Bears want to be. (Until they don't)

The Bears are going to play hardball and also "explore all their options" to let AH know that they won't be punked.

For the most part, it's theater, and to be expected when these kinds of $$$ are on the table. As I've said before, the right palms have to be greased and the right interests have to get their turn at the feeding trough.
I believe this nails it about as well as it can be nailed. It's all about maximizing the tax base for the city and county so they make a move that's nearly assured of failing but like any negotiation they want to start off as high as they can reasonably justify then posture as much as they can before agreeing to settle on somewhat less. The Bears have already committed money to buying the site so it will still be their first choice but they want the other side to understand it's not their only choice. It's a high stakes poker game and each side is testing the others resolve with some opening bets.

It's been decades since I've lived there but I doubt much if anything has changed in Crook County.
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Bear down south? Richton Park mayor invites team to consider building south suburban stadium

A suburban mayor is hoping the Chicago Bears’ quest for a new stadium goes south.

Richton Park Mayor Rick Reinbold invited team president and CEO Kevin Warren last week to consider his “lively and diverse suburban community” as a potential destination instead of Arlington Heights, where the Bears have complained high property taxes could block their drive for a dome at the former Arlington International Racecourse.

A 32-mile drive from Soldier Field by way of Interstate 57, Reinbold pitched the team on his village’s proximity to major highways and the Metra Electric line, as well as its position “in the middle of an affluent, middle- and upper-middle class swath of the south and southwest suburbs.”
...

A Bears spokesman declined to comment on the Richton Park overture, reiterating the team’s “responsibility to listen to other municipalities in Chicagoland about potential locations that can deliver on this transformational opportunity for our fans, our club and the state of Illinois.”
...

Reinbold said by phone Tuesday that he hasn’t heard from the team, but that he’s confident Warren will recognize a “tremendous opportunity” in 1,000-plus acres of greenfield Richton Park has west of I-57.

As for whether the team could avoid a property tax impasse with local school districts — like the ones pushing back against any breaks for the Bears in Arlington Heights — Reinbold said he thinks “in the southland, we’re certainly willing, in general, to talk to and work with developers as best we can.”

“We speak the language of business here in Richton Park,” he said. “We’re willing to negotiate any and all incentives that would be needed to close the deal.”

Full article: https://chicago.suntimes.com/bears/2023 ... on-heights
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Have Peoria or Kenosha chimed in yet? :deal:
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Send in the clowns
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RichH55 wrote: Tue Jul 25, 2023 11:47 pm Send in the clowns
No, they've been and gone...

viewtopic.php?p=247056&hilit=send+in+the+clowns#p247056
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Bears president Kevin Warren met again with Chicago mayor Brandon Johnson this week, they said in a joint statement that promised “regular dialogue” going forward.

https://chicago.suntimes.com/bears/2023 ... meet-again
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Slow down, Chicago Bears? Johnson says he won’t be rushed into deal to stop team from leaving Chicago: ‘We’ll get there’
...

So far, the mayor has held two meetings with Bears President Kevin Warren in an attempt to build the kind of trust and rapport that has not existed before between the Bears and City Hall.

During a City Hall news conference Wednesday, Johnson said he has not yet offered an alternative stadium site to the Bears if the team is determined to leave Soldier Field. It’s all been about relationship building.

“Something that I’ve learned in my work to get to this point is listening to people, hearing their values. That’s the best position to be in in order to come to a conclusion that works for everyone,” he said.

“We’ll get there. I believe it’s inevitable that we ultimately will have conversations that will be far more guided and specific. But, in the meantime, it’s just an understanding that the history of the Chicago Bears and what the people of Chicago want to see — those interests have to align. And so, the early parts of our conversations have certainly put us into position to have another one.”

If Johnson is willing to help the Bears build a new stadium — long before retiring hundreds of millions of dollars in bonds used to renovate Soldier Field — there are precious few city sites large enough to handle the massive development the Bears envision.
...

Johnson is refusing to tip his hand.

“This city has become accustomed to these types of decisions being made in a moment’s notice. I’m a different mayor, you all. I am. I’m gonna take my time because getting this right is important,” Johnson said.

“What I don’t want is that you all push me to rush a decision to then come back to tag me for making a decision too soon that people don’t ultimately like. At the very least, you know that whatever decision that I made that I didn’t take it lightly. I believe the Bears understand that and appreciate that.”

Full article: https://chicago.suntimes.com/2023/8/2/2 ... ng-chicago
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Not that I'll ever be a regular lol but which site has the best mass transit? Every stadium I've ever been to where I have to drive to get to it is a massive chore, and train beers are awesome.
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From the Chicago Suntimes:

"If Johnson is willing to help the Bears build a new stadium — long before retiring hundreds of millions of dollars in bonds used to renovate Soldier Field — there are precious few city sites large enough to handle the massive development the Bears envision.

The South Loop site known as the 78 is bisected by an active railroad track, and the University of Illinois is building an academic and research hub there. The contaminated South Works site near 85th and South Shore Drive that formerly housed U.S. Steel has bedeviled every developer who has ever tackled it.

That leaves the old Silver Shovel dumpsite at Roosevelt and Kostner, the old Finkl Steel site in the middle of Lincoln Park, the now-troubled Lincoln Yards project and McCormick Place East, which would violate the lakefront protection ordinance."

There is, of course, the site of Soldier's Field. But with the Bears almost insisting on owning their own stadium and controlling all revenues, I'm not sure if a deal could be brokered for the team to buy the site and raze the stadium for a new one. It could put some needed dollars into Chicago's budget but would be sure to ignite a firestorm of protests.
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Chicago giveaway?

Put the odds way up for staying
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Bearfacts wrote: Tue Jul 25, 2023 8:51 pm Have Peoria or Kenosha chimed in yet? :deal:
Peoria is working on a deal. Riverside, Illinois River. No it is not Lake MIchigan. And no they do not have any skyscrapers as a back drop, but they do have E Peoria and Bass Pro on one side. They have 2 bridges as scenery and a newer museum. It could work, right up there with the Peoria Rivermen and the Peoria Chiefs and the defunct AF2 team, Peoria Pirates.
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Okay so this was in the news again today.

They were talking about how if they stayed in the city they could look at South Works and McCormick Place Lakeside which both have lake access and have been empty for several years.

Can people more familiar with the area explain to me why if those sites sat empty why the Bears wouldn't have started with them before going out of the city and buying the racetrack.

It seems if they could have bought good spots within the city and been able to get out from the control of the city parks program (which appears to be a very big reason) that would have been the better route to go.

Did the racetrack have far more land to let them do other things?

Are these "toxic site" that will require a bunch of work to be environmentally safe?

These answer may be buried in this 25 page thread and if so I sorry I missed it when it got posted, I just figure someone can help me with this.

As always thanks.
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Not sure.

But it could also be that the Bears were fed up with dealing with the city, from past experience and/or thought a small (relatively speaking) suburb would be a huge eager-beaver pushover.
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Arkansasbear wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2023 2:44 pm Okay so this was in the news again today.

They were talking about how if they stayed in the city they could look at South Works and McCormick Place Lakeside which both have lake access and have been empty for several years.

Can people more familiar with the area explain to me why if those sites sat empty why the Bears wouldn't have started with them before going out of the city and buying the racetrack.

It seems if they could have bought good spots within the city and been able to get out from the control of the city parks program (which appears to be a very big reason) that would have been the better route to go.

Did the racetrack have far more land to let them do other things?

Are these "toxic site" that will require a bunch of work to be environmentally safe?

These answer may be buried in this 25 page thread and if so I sorry I missed it when it got posted, I just figure someone can help me with this.

As always thanks.
I don’t know the whole answer but here goes:

1) There are some laws/ordinances about lakefront access that keep the McCormick site out of play.

2) The south works site is allegedly extremely toxic and would be prohibitively expensive to make safe.

Info here: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/env ... story.html

2a) I’m treading on dangerous ground here but I don’t believe that much of the Bears’ clientele would feel comfortable going to the south side. I also don’t believe the powers that be would want all that money poured into that part of the city.
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I'm not from Illinois so if this is too political please just ignore or delete this question. If the site is so environmentally dangerous, why isn't the government doing something about it?
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