Hearing on Bears-to-Arlington Heights legislation delayed
A scheduled hearing on an Illinois House resolution urging the Chicago Bears to move to Arlington Heights was canceled Tuesday, when the legislation was reassigned to a different committee.
Rockford Republican state Rep. Joe Sosnowski's bill in support of the NFL franchise's proposed city-to-suburb move was to be heard Tuesday afternoon in the House Cities and Villages Committee, following postponement of that panel's meeting a week earlier.
But the Bears resolution on Tuesday was reassigned to the House Tourism Committee. A hearing on the matter isn't yet scheduled.
In a story published in Monday's Daily Herald, Sosnowski touted the economic development and transportation access benefits he believes the team's relocation to Arlington Park could provide. He also said it should happen without the team requesting incentives from local or state government.
"I just look at this holistically from a state perspective," Sosnowski said. "The current stadium is too small to host things like a Super Bowl. There's limitations with parking and access. And when you look at that facility versus others, a facility in Arlington Heights -- with the land surrounding it -- has the potential for a state-of-the-art stadium."
Sosnowski's resolution is expected to face opposition from Chicago legislators, at least one of whom filed a bill last fall that would prevent the team from leaving Soldier Field without an agreement with the city.
This week, the city's deputy director of intergovernmental affairs, Patrick Hall, registered formal opposition to Sosnowski's legislation in Springfield.
The pending $197.2 million deal between the Bears and racetrack owner Churchill Downs Inc. isn't expected to close until the first half of 2023.