Chicago Bears say new stadium in Arlington Heights would be enclosed, and release illustrations, but say they’d expect some public funding

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For the first time, the Chicago Bears confirmed Tuesday that the stadium the team is considering building in Arlington Heights would be domed — but the team also called for taxpayer funding of a portion of the project, and noted the plan was still tentative.

The Bears’ released illustrations of the proposed project, and a statement that was the most detailed yet on its proposal to buy Arlington International Racecourse. It said the stadium would be a “best-in-class enclosed stadium, providing Chicagoland with a new home worthy of hosting global events such as the Super Bowl, College Football Playoffs, and Final Four.”

The 326-acre development would also include restaurants, office spaces, hotel, fitness center, new parks and open spaces.

The team said that construction of the proposed project would create an estimated 48,000 jobs, $9.4 billion economic impact for Chicagoland, and $1.4 billion in annual economic impact. The team would not seek taxpayer help to build the stadium, but given the economic impact, would seek public funding for the rest of the project.

“We remain under contract to purchase the property, but there are conditions that must be met in order to be in a position to close,” the team wrote in the statement. “If we do close on the property, it does not guarantee we will develop it.”

The illustrations released Tuesday show a map that indicates that the stadium would be along Route 53 and the Metra commuter tracks. A mixed-used district would be southeast of the stadium.

Two other illustrations show aerial images of the complex, which would include several buildings along with the stadium.

The team has played at Soldier Field for half a century.

The Bears will hold a community meeting Thursday in Arlington Heights to talk about the plan.

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