Editorial: Bears move would transform Arlington Heights without hurting Chicago
Our neighbors in Chicago sometimes counsel those of us in the suburbs to remember that we have a stake in the health of the city.
And rightly so. Because we do.
It would be good, when it comes to the Chicago Bears' likely relocation to Arlington Park, for those in the city to remember that the reverse is true, too. Good for those in statewide office also to remember that.
The Bears are not abandoning Chicago. Chicago is not simply the city. It is a metropolitan area of almost 10 million people.
Certainly, we in the suburbs get this. When we travel and someone asks where home is, we usually answer, "Chicago," don't we?
And we say that with pride. And with joy. For all the criticism any of us may have of city politics and city problems, we are excited to live where we live. A good portion of that excitement is because of the vitality of a city that we see as a partner.
The Bears are not leaving town. They're just buying a new home down the street, one with added amenities, shorter commutes, a lot more space, greater control over the property and a chance for a happier and more successful life.
They're buying instead of renting.
People do it all the time.
Truth is, odd as it may sound, Arlington Heights in this case can offer the Bears benefits that the city cannot, partly because of the limitations of venerable Soldier Field.
And in doing so, as one side benefit that should encourage all of us, this move can provide the Bears with the financial wherewithal to be more successful on the field.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is concerned about the move, and that's natural. Those of us in the suburbs grow concerned too when one of our businesses moves into the city, or away altogether. It is natural. There are parochial interests within more regional interests.
But let's be real. For the city of Chicago, the Bears' move to the suburbs will be disappointing but hardly calamitous. It will continue to be a destination city that attracts tourism and business investments from around the world.
Meanwhile, for the village of Arlington Heights and the suburbs that surround it, the move will be transformative.
It will dramatically reshape the Northwest suburbs and the way the region is perceived.
The well-beings of the suburbs and the city are interconnected in countless ways. And this is not a win-lose proposition. It promises to be good for the entire metropolitan area.
When it comes to this move, bear down, Chicago Bears.