Chicago Bears sign deal with owner of Arlington International Racecourse

Chicago Bears - Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Bears took another step in what could be the beginning of the end of Soldier Field. Although the two are not necessarily directly linked, the Bears made Rivers Casino their first official sportsbook.

What does this have to do with the Arlington International Racecourse? Well, the majority owner of Rivers Casino is Churchill Downs, Inc., which also owns the horse track in Arlington Heights. Is this deal just the beginning of a business transaction that helps the Chicago franchise secure the land necessary to build a future stadium of the Bears? Although not necessarily related, it should definitely be noted as we attempt to connect the dots.

We know that the Chicago Bears are one of 10 bidders on the Arlington Heights property. With the potential to bring in increased revenue to the city, that has to play a part in the decision on who wins the bid. Therefore, I’d believe the Chicago Bears have a very solid chance of winning the property.

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If you ask the Mayor of Chicago, she believes this is just a negotiating tactic by the Bears organization and not anything we should even be concerned with.

I might have agreed with her in the past, but I think there might be more to it at this point. This is pure speculation and gut instinct, but if the team can build a new stadium that seats 15,000+ more seats, it would not be too difficult to continue paying the current lease while playing in the new stadium. The city should be bending over backward to try and keep the team in Chicago, but instead, the Mayor throws shade at the team. Not a good negotiating tactic in my opinion.

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Could the Bears partnership with Rivers Casino and BetRivers App point to things to come in the near future? Could the Chicago Bears be wheeling and dealing two deals at the same time? Will they use the Arlington Racecourse as leverage even if they purchase it or will they truly look to build a new stadium at this facility? Only time will tell, but at least you know you will be able to get your sports betting in not too far from Soldier Field (or from the comfort of your phone anywhere in the state of Illinois).