Want to attend the Chicago Bears Arlington Heights Community Reunion? Arrive Early – Attendance is Limited – NBC Chicago

Although the Chicago Bears football regular season doesn’t officially begin until Game 1 takes place at noon on Sunday, the team is expected to draw large crowds Thursday night when team management is scheduled to hold a community meeting in Arlington Heights. to discuss the Bears. master plan to move to the northwestern suburbs.

Although the “Community Information Meeting”, which runs from 7-9pm Thursday at John Hersey High School, is open to the public, only 2,000 people will be allowed in.

On Tuesday, the Bears released renderings as well as more information on their vision for a potential stadium district on the site of the former Arlington International Racetrack, with big plans for a hotel, restaurants, offices , residents, parks, open space, and a domed stadium, giving the team the ability to host big events like the Super Bowl and the Final Four College Basketball Tournament.

However, the Bears have not announced a financing plan. And while the City of Chicago tries to convince the team to stay, an ordinance was presented to the Arlington Heights Board of Directors on Monday that would prohibit the village from using tax money as an incentive to attract business – like the Bears – in the community. .

Here’s what we know from Thursday’s meeting and where things stand.

Meeting details:

The meeting will take place Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m., inside the gymnasium at John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights.

Parking lots will open at 5 p.m. and doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Spaces will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Only 2,000 people will be allowed to enter.

According to the team, “This meeting is informational only and should not be confused with an official public meeting hosted by the Village of Arlington Heights. Should the project go ahead, all required public meetings will be held at later dates.”

What will be discussed:

A letter from the Bears says Thursday’s community information meeting “will discuss the potential purchase and possible development of Arlington Park.”

“The meeting will include opening remarks from team leadership and concept plans for a transit-focused mixed-use entertainment district anchored by a stadium that would be one of the largest development projects in Illinois State history,” the team said.

No agenda has been provided and it is unclear whether team management will hold a Q&A.

How to watch the meeting:

According to The Bears, the only way to watch the reunion live is to attend.

Live streaming of the event or live reporting of it is strictly prohibited, team officials said.

What we know about the project:

Details about the proposed stadium were not revealed, but if approved, the Bears would purchase and possibly redevelop Arlington Park and build a “fully enclosed” stadium on the site.

Additionally, the Bears are reportedly looking to build a large entertainment district around the site, with restaurants, bars, performance spaces and a variety of other features that the team says would be accessible year-round.

The Bears also revealed that they would not seek public funding for the stadium itself, but could potentially negotiate with Arlington Heights officials to seek funding for other parts of the proposed site.

According to a press release, the team says the project could create 48,000 temporary construction jobs and nearly 10,000 long-term jobs around the site, generating more than $9.4 billion in total economic impact.

The team say negotiations are still ongoing to buy the venue, but have warned that even if they have an approved deal in place, a stadium would not be a guarantee due to further negotiations expected to take place .

The City of Chicago has attempted to negotiate with the Bears over improvements to Soldier Field, but under the terms of the agreement reached with Arlington Heights, the club says they are focused solely on the new suburban project.

NBC Chicago

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