Although the upgrades to Soldier Field completed in the early 2000s are not paid for yet, Mayor Lori Lightfoot released renderings of what an improved Soldier field could look like, calling it an economic engine for Chicago during a news conference Monday. Lightfoot proposed several plans that could cost an estimated $900 million to $2.2 billion in a desperate proposal to lure the Chicago Bears into staying in the crime-ridden city.
Soldier Field remains an incredible asset for City residents & visitors. These proposed renovations allow Soldier Field to retain its role as an economic engine for Chicago for years to come, allowing us to keep bringing sports, music, & other events to our world-class city. 🧵 pic.twitter.com/wPfsSRU4C7
— Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) July 25, 2022
The Chicago Bears released a statement following Lightfoot’s press conference Monday, saying they are not discussing any upgrades to the stadium.
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“As part of our mutual agreement with the seller of that property, we are not pursuing alternative stadium deals or sites, including renovations to Soldier Field, while we are under contract,”
For several years the Bears have been discussing moving to the western suburb of Arlington Heights after a horse racing track announced a plan to shut down. The team has already signed a purchase agreement and made a downpayment of $197.2 million for the property. The racetrack sits on a 326-acre property and is thirty miles from Soldier Field.
Kam Buckner ripped the Mayor’s presentation saying that the public does not want unfunded scenarios but rather public safety, a reliable transit system, good-paying jobs, and quality public education.
Kam Buckner rips on Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Soldier Field/Bears news conference: “No one asked the Mayor for the three unfunded scenarios to revamp Soldier Field that she announced today, costing up to $2 billion.” pic.twitter.com/i9bA5ORQQS
— Gregory Pratt (@royalpratt) July 25, 2022
Chicago crime has been steadily rising, angering Chicago citizens who would like Lightfoot to put the funding offered for Soldier Field into crime prevention.
Lightfoot Proposes $2.2 Billion in Soldier Field Upgrades to Keep Bears from Leaving Crime-Ridden Chicago https://t.co/hnF9q3Weru Instead of fighting the policy that keep crime flourishing – throw $$$ on the burning dumpster fire that is Chicago #WokeLiberalPoliciesArentWorking pic.twitter.com/Kvq0sTKCqr
— @QueenB_wiov Deborah R Culver (@queenb_wiov) July 26, 2022
"Re-imagining" Soldier Field by pouring billions into the project won't make Chicago any safer. How about we let the Bears move to the suburbs & Lori pours that money into more cops, better crime prevention strategies & improved mental health care for current cops & dispatchers. https://t.co/btS58lfkf6
— Betsy Brantner Smith (@sgtbetsysmith) July 26, 2022