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Arlington Heights offers Chicago Bears tax breaks to build new stadium in village

Arlington Heights offers Chicago Bears tax breaks to build new stadium in village
Arlington Heights offers Chicago Bears tax breaks to build new stadium in village 00:52

CHICAGO (CBS) – Suburban Arlington Heights is offering big tax breaks to the Chicago Bears to build a new stadium in the village.

Village officials came up with a compromise over a tax property bill for land the Bears already own in Arlington Heights.

The potential deal would give the Bears tax liabilities of about $6.3 for the first year and $3.6 million for the second year. The current tax bill for the former Arlington Park property is nearly $10 million.

In a statement from three local school districts, they said they offered the Bears one assessment of the property for five years that would have resulted in an average annual payment of $5 million, but the team did not accept the proposal.

Arlington Heights Mayor Thomas Hayes spoke to CBS 2 on Tuesday and said the numbers were shared with the Bears last month.

"We can't do our complete due diligence until we get more formal plans from the Bears," Hayes said. "So we really need to get past this first hurdle."

In their statement, the school districts said, "We remain steadfast in our support of the Arlington Park site being developed and believe it is the best location for the Bears to accomplish their goal of owning their own stadium."

The proposal comes as the Bears announced last week they would commit $2 billion toward a new stadium on Chicago's lakefront. Officials and business leaders in Arlington Heights were initially surprised at the announcement from the Bears.

The Bears have been in talks for a new stadium to replace Soldier Field since 2021 when they first bid on the purchase of the Arlington International Racecourse property. The Bears ultimately bought the site for $197 million in February of 2023. Demolition of the grandstand and other structures on the site was completed in October.

But earlier this year, the team appeared to put that plan on the back burner in favor of building their new stadium along the Chicago lakefront.

The team has had conversations with Chicago city officials about possibly building a domed stadium on Soldier Field's south parking lot. It's unclear whether their plan for the lakefront would require any public funding.

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