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The Bears Ditching Lightfoot’s Crime-Ridden City for Safer Suburb Has Dem Mayor Trying $2.2B Bribe

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is so desperate to keep the Chicago Bears from moving to the suburbs that she just offered a $2.2 billion bribe to the team. On Monday, Lightfoot proposed three plans costing between $900 million and $2.2 billion to upgrade Soldier Field to try and convince the NFL team to stay in the Windy City. Lightfoot’s Soldier Field fantasy came in three flavors that would either erect a dome over the historic outdoor stadium — located near Chicago’s lakefront — or would build new domed facilities. The mayor claimed that her proposals would save the Bears up to $15 million in moving costs incurred if they move to the nearby suburb of Arlington Heights. “An improved Soldier Field will deliver a world-class visitor experience,” Lightfoot said, according to the a release by the mayor’s press office. “Furthermore, any of these proposed renovations will allow Soldier Field to retain its role as an economic engine for Chicago for years to come, as these changes will allow us to keep bringing sports, music and other exciting events to our city.” The proposals are featured at a newly launched website called Re-Imagine Soldier Field. Still, it seems like a forlorn hope for Lightfoot, because the Bears seem to have their mind set on moving 30 miles west to Arlington Heights, abandoning their home of 50 years in downtown Chi-town. The Bears have been talking about moving to the western suburb for years, especially since it was announced that a horse racing track there would shut down by 2021. The now-shuttered racetrack sits on a 326-acre property that the Bears have been salivating over for some time. And with the team’s lease on its Soldier Field stadium ending in just ten years, they need to be making their escape plans now. To that end, the Bears have already paid $197.2 million toward a purchase agreement for the now-deserted racetrack property. So, clearly, the team is serious about the move. Back in September of last year, the Bears reported on their intentions concerning the Arlington Park property. “We are excited to have executed a Purchase and Sale Agreement for the Arlington Park property,” Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips said at the time, according to the Associated Press. “Much work remains to be completed including working closely with the Village of Arlington Heights and surrounding communities, before we can close on this transaction.” Now, after Lightfoot’s release of her plans to revamp Soldier Field, the Bears put out a statement noting that they are not interested in any upgrades to the stadium. “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, while we are under contract,” the Bears said in a statement, according to ESPN. A soaring crime rate is also an underlying factor for the team’s decision to flee downtown, though the team has not said that directly. Indeed, Chicago has suffered a 36 percent jump in crime this year, The Hill reported. And crime is seeping into areas of the city that are usually safe. The crime rate has already been blamed for keeping tourists away from Chicago’s downtown shopping and entertainment districts, CBS News said. Of course, the mayor’s proposals of up to $2.2 billion in refits and construction seem a bit absurd when noting that the team itself is only worth $4.75 billion, according to Forbes.  But that is the least of Lightfoot’s problems. There is also that $2.2 billion price tag. Lightfoot strangely neglected to say just who would pony up to pay for the $2.2 billion construction costs she is floating like a lead balloon, Yahoo Sports noted. The stadium, built just after World War I, already had a recent $660 million refit, too. In fact, the last round of upgrades to Soldier Field, which were offered to entice the Bears to stay and which were completed in the early 2000s, aren’t even paid for yet, and won’t be until 2032, Sports Illustrated reported, quoting the Chicago Sun-Times.. Sadly, Lightfoot’s bribe seems to be floundering in ill-preparedness. With no clue where all the billions will come from to pay for her scheme being offered to a team that has already spent millions for its move out, it seems rather pointless. And with all this fantasy cash being thrown at sports instead of being used to make her increasingly dangerous city safer for the residents doomed to stay, it has a rather cynical ring, too. But it all smacks of the typical way these dysfunctional, Democrat-run cities operate these days. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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