Bye-Bye Bears? Arlington Heights deal could lure team from Soldier Field


CHICAGO — WGN Investigates has unique perception into the plans to deliver the Chicago Bears to Arlington Heights.

The staff has reached a deal to purchase the 326-acre Arlington Worldwide Racecourse, in a transfer that shook the town and its diehard soccer followers.

For greater than 100 years, Arlington had been Illinois’ premiere racing venue. However its future will look dramatically totally different.

Within the weeks earlier than its ultimate race, WGN Investigates obtained an unique behind-the-scenes take a look at the monitor and a sit-down with Tony Petrillo, the monitor’s president. On the time, it wasn’t recognized the Bears would purchase the property, solely that the monitor was up on the market.

Though, Petrillo did share how simply the large parcel may maintain a brand new NFL stadium.

“You would match the entire present Soldier Subject inside our infield proper there,” Petrillo says. “It suits proper into the footprint. And also you take a look at that – that’s only a very small portion of this property.”

Horse racing fans had hoped racing would stay. However Petrillo was candid concerning the challenges dealing with, not solely his monitor however your complete horse-racing business. 

“With the appearance of sports activities betting, on-line gaming, on-line casinos, you’re going to see folks staying at dwelling and never popping out to the racetrack,” he says.

To his level, the business’s fundamental income supply known as the deal with, or the quantity wagered on races. It’s been declining for years, not solely at Arlington however on thoroughbred and harness racing meets statewide, from a complete of $1.1 billion in 2000 to $537 million final yr.

On the identical time, the price to function the monitor has climbed.

“It’s saddening however, you understand, you need to transfer on,” he says. | Bye-Bye Bears? Arlington Heights deal may lure staff from Soldier Subject


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