Lightfoot says Bears will end up at a renovated Soldier Field

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Thursday that she believes the Bears will end up staying put at a renovated, domed Soldier Field - even after spending $197.2 million to acquire the Arlington International Racecourse site.

Until now, the Bears have been barred from talking to the city. So long as they had an option to purchase the 326-acre racecourse site, they were bound to negotiate exclusively with Arlington Heights.

Now that the land deal has gone through, Lightfoot said she has the "opportunity to more directly communicate" with the Bears.

"I'm excited for the opportunity for us to make the business case to have the Bears stay in our city. We've demonstrated that the number of opportunities that they're gonna get - with the number of tourists that come to our city every year, the amount of additional revenue opportunities that can be generated from Soldier Field - those simply can't be matched," she said.

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