The Chicago Bears have rejected Mayor Lightfoot’s billion-dollar offer to improve their home stadium and are determined to relocate to a calmer, less crime-ridden area, the City of Chicago announced in a Tuesday press release.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot offered an incentive with a value of up to $2.2 billion in renovations to the Soldier Field stadium in hopes of convincing the Bears to stay in the city, according to the release.
The upgrades included installing structures in both end-zones that support an enclosed domed roof over the stadium, adding additional seating to accommodate an extra 8,500 fans and quadrupling the venue’s food and beverage square footage.
The Bears dismissed Lightfoot’s upgrades to Soldier Field and made it clear that the only location for their new home turf would be in the city’s calmer suburbs, the team said in a statement reported by the Daily Herald.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveiled plans for Soldier Field that could cost up to $2.2 billion as part of her ongoing campaign to keep the Bears from skipping town for Arlington Heights or at least deflect blame if the venerable sports team leaves.
— Gregory Pratt (@royalpratt) July 25, 2022
“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,” the Bears said in a statement according to ESPN.
The Bears purchased a $197.2 million 326-acre property in Arlington Park from Churchill Downs Inc. in September 2021, according to a statement on the team’s website. The new stadium is 30 miles northwest of Soldier Field.
The Bear’s exodus from Chicago could prove to be a major loss for the city this fall. The team is the seventh most valuable franchise in the league and the Soldier Field stadium rakes in $166 million dollars in revenue for the city of Chicago, according to Forbes.
The Bears are not the only asset to ditch Chicago. Hundreds of thousands of Illinois residents and businesses have left Chicago due to the current state of the city.
Illinois’ population declined by 113,776 from July 1, 2020, through July 1, 2021, according to an Illinois policy report. Although people are fleeing Illinois from all around the state, the City of Chicago lost a total of 45,175 residents from July 2020-July 2021, the third-highest of any city in America.
Citadel, an investment firm that had been located in Chicago for over 30 years, recently announced it would be relocating to Florida.
Boeing, a multinational aerospace company, announced it would move its headquarters out of the city and into Arlington, Virginia, in May, according to NBC Chicago.
The overwhelming emigration out of Chicago comes amidst the city’s surge in violent crime and pro-criminal policies.
Crime across the city is up 35%, according to the Chicago Police Department. The city also implemented a new policy earlier this Summer that prohibits police officers from pursuing potential misdemeanor suspects on foot.
Mayor Lightfoot’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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