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Chicago Bears CEO Kevin Warren reiterates city's "need" for a new stadium

Chicago Bears CEO Kevin Warren reiterates city's "need" for a new stadium
Chicago Bears CEO Kevin Warren reiterates city's "need" for a new stadium 00:41

CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago Bears President and CEO Kevin Warran reiterated the team's desire for a new stadium along the city's lakefront on Tuesday, despite the state legislature taking no action on a proposed deal during its spring session.

Warren spoke at the Lincoln Forum event with the Union League Club.

"I strongly believe we need a new stadium," Warren said. "Obviously, for Chicago to have never hosted a Super Bowl, a Final Four, a college football playoff, these mega-events, we're losing out and Sports Business Journal comes out with the top 25 cities ranked as far as, you know, sports events. Chicago wasn't even on the top 25."

The Bears announced earlier this year that the team would pledge $2 billion toward the construction of a new domed public stadium, estimated to cost about $3.2 billion. The plan also included a surrounding park area and infrastructure improvements around the city's Museum Campus, which would bring the total cost of the project to about $4.7 billion.

The team was seeking public funding through 40-year bonds issued by the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, or IFSA, the same body that helped fund the 2002 renovation of Soldier Field.

Gov. JB Pritzker expressed doubts about the team's plan being a good idea. In a statement, Pritzker's office called the Bears' proposal a "non-starter for the state" and said he needs evidence that a new stadium would provide a "tangible benefit to the taxpayers of Illinois."

The Bears' move for a new Chicago stadium came even after the team acquired 326 acres of land in northwest suburban Arlington Heights, where officials discussed the possibility of a new stadium being built at a former race track.

After talks about that possibility stalled, several other suburban communities tried to vie for a chance to draw the Bears to build elsewhere. But under Warren's leadership, the team has shifted its focus back to remaining in Chicago. Warren was asked about the team's property in Arlington Heights.

"It's a great piece of land," Warren said Tuesday. "And our focus right now has been and will remain on Chicago and so we'll continually just keep driving forward to see what we can work out here in the city."

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