Could the Chicago Bears end up staying in the city of Chicago?

Chicago Bears, Soldier Field
Chicago Bears, Soldier Field / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

The Chicago Bears appeared to be on the move from Lake Shore Drive to Arlington Heights. However, a couple of bumps in the road have presented themselves and now the team is looking at other potential locations for a new stadium. Reports started after the Bears met with the mayor of Naperville. Now, it appears a second meeting has taken place — this time including a Naperville councilman.

Now, there is speculation that maybe the city of Chicago and the new Chicago Mayor, Brandon Johnson can keep the Bears in the heart of the city. I know Mark Carman of CHGO_Sports would love for this to happen. He has been advocating for the Bears to stay in the city since the very beginning.

The problem, and I hate to break Carm's heart, is that the issue the Chicago Bears are having involves property taxes. Both of these locations take place inside Cook County. This means that although incentives can be given at the township level, everything still filters through the Cook County Assessor. Unless this was a ploy by the city in a backdoor deal to force the Bears into moving away from Arlington Heights and back to the city, I don't see how back peddling back to Chicago makes sense for the McCaskeys and Kevin Warren. It makes sense that Naperville is being considered since parts of the city reside in DuPage and Will Counties — away from Cook County.

From a fan perspective, most of the statewide residents would prefer the Chicago Bears move to Arlington Heights. There is a select bunch that still want them to remain in the city. We have seen what Lori Lightfoot's team presented as a new option to Soldier Field. Will Brandon Johnson use the same model or come up with something else using his own staff? Will the McCaskeys and Warren even consider staying within the downtown area? Will the Park District give up ownership rights?

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It seems there are still more questions than answers. What we do know is that the Cook County Board of Review has settled with the previous owners, lowering the 2023 proposed market value from $180+ million down to $95 million. This is much closer to what the value was during the previous triennial, however, it is still 3x as much. As a season ticket holder, I am torn on what I'd prefer, but I can tell you the idea of an entertainment campus excites me more than the current Soldier Field.

Where do you want to see the Chicago Bears stadium? Where do you think it ends up?