The Chicago Bears take another step in their long road towards building a new home on Wednesday. The team filed paperwork with the village of Arlington Heights to begin demolition of the remaining structures of Arlington International Racecourse. The news was first reported by Robert McCoppin and AD Quig of The Chicago Tribune.
It’s the next phase of the team’s desire to build a multi-purpose entertainment district on the property after they officially closed on the land earlier this year. The Bears entered into an agreement deal on the property back in September of 2021 to purchase the 326-acre land for approximately $197 million.
According to the team via the Tribune, demolition will begin by clearing out the interior of the grandstand before moving to other structures and eventually the grandstand itself. No timetable has been set for the demolition but, as Christopher Placek of the Daily Herald states, it could get underway in a matter of weeks or even days.
The moves to buy and secure the property would seem to indicate the team’s desire to bring a new multi-purpose entertainment district, including a brand-new enclosed stadium, to the site. But team officials have emphasized time and again that any movement on the property does not mean they’re fully moving ahead with their desired plans.
There are still many more hoops to clear, including a battle to secure additional funding for the surrounding entertainment area not related to the stadium, as well as the increased property tax evaluation from $33.5 million in 2022 to $197 million by Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi, reported by Greg Hinz of Crain’s Chicago Business.
Tearing down the existing structures at Arlington Park is an important step, though. In order to build something new, the old pieces need to be brought down. It may seem slow but progress continues to happen as the Bears eye a new home.
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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire