Like the rest of us, the Chicago Bears are sick and tired of winters in the Midwest. If the team is able to complete its property deal in Arlington Heights, it intends to build a new "enclosed stadium" in the area.
Say goodbye to the Bears and Green Bay Packers playing in one of the coldest games in NFL history and forget about David Montgomery stiff-arming defenders in the snow. The era of hard-nosed, gritty, smash mouth football is over for the Bears. That's the suburbs for you.
On a more serious note, this is probably the right move. Enclosed stadiums are becoming more popular, especially in climates with varying weather. While it's fun to watch the occasional snow game here and there, sitting in the stands when it's -8 F outside isn't fun for anyone.
The move might also help the Bears develop a franchise quarterback for the first time in the team's existence. Playing in a temperature-controlled environment with no wind and no threat of rain or snow should help Justin Fields ... or whoever is under center when and if the Bears officially move out of Chicago.
Bears have lease with Soldier Field until 2033
The Bears are expected to purchase property in Arlington Heights, a northwestern suburb of Chicago. The team signed an agreement to purchase the land in 2021, but said Tuesday that deal is still contingent on certain "conditions that must be met."
If those conditions are met, the Bears intend to move forward with building a new enclosed stadium and developing the area surrounding the stadium to be a "multi-purpose entertainment district."
The entire project, which the Bears have teased as "one of the largest development projects in Illinois state history," will take time. The Bears' lease with Soldier Field in Chicago runs through 2033 and the team plans to honor it. If the team builds a new enclosed stadium in Arlington Heights, it wouldn't play regular-season games there until 2034.
The Bears claim they will not seek public funding for the stadium, but could ask for public funding for other aspects of the project.