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Chicago Alderman Wants City to Buy the Bears

Andy Berg
Bears

As the NFL’s Chicago Bears threaten a move from Soldier Field to a new facility in Arlington Heights, one alderman thinks the city should consider buying the team.

On Wednesday, alderman George Cardenas introduced an ordinance for the city to purchase the team and sell shares to fans on Wednesday.

"People love this city," Cardenas told ABC. "People love the Bears, and people love sports in general. And why not give people a chance to weigh in on that conversation?"


The ordinance comes after the Bears signed an agreement to purchase the entirety of Arlington Park, which previously housed the Arlington Race Course. 

Cardenas believes that if Chicago were able to find the funds to purchase the team, it would be able to keep the Bears at Soldier Field. Not everyone agrees. 

"No, it's not feasible," said 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguspack, who is also chair of the city's finance committee. "I don't think the city, first of all, can afford it. I don' think there's a taste of the taxpayers to buy the team and move forward on something like that."

Even if the city could buy the team, it’s not clear that the McCaskey family, which owns the Bears, would want to sell.

The Bears current lease of Soldier Field runs through 2033, which means if the McCaskey family does follow through with moving the team, they’d be on the hook for $84 million if they broke the team’s lease. 

Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot said nothing has been settled yet.

"The bottom line is this: We're going to continue to do our work to try to keep the Bears in the city of Chicago, but it's got to be a deal," Mayor Lightfoot said. "That makes sense, not just for the Bears but for the taxpayers."

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