Could Bears deal with Rivers Casino impact Arlington racetrack bid?
Just days after the Chicago Bears submitted a bid to buy Arlington International Racecourse, the team announced Tuesday a sponsorship deal involving the racetrack’s owners.
CHICAGO – Just days after the Chicago Bears submitted a bid to buy Arlington International Racecourse, the team announced Tuesday a sponsorship deal involving the racetrack’s owner and Rivers Casino.
At this point, it is obvious the Bears and the track’s owner – Churchill Downs Incorporated – are in serious discussions to make a deal.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot dismissed it as a bargaining ploy when the Bears last week put in a formal bid to buy the racetrack in Arlington Heights.
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In addition, Churchill Downs owns a big piece of nearby Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. On Tuesday, the NFL franchise announced a multi-year deal making Rivers and the BetRivers app the official casino and sports book of the Bears.
“We are incredibly excited,” said Bears president and CEO Ted Philips in a written statement.
Mayor Lightfoot dismissed the Bears potential move with a snarky statement, urging them to build a better team. Perhaps she thought that would somehow persuade the franchise to stay at Soldier Field, where they have voiced a series of complaints, and a lease that runs for a dozen more years.
The mayor of Arlington Heights insists a stadium in his village would be better for the team and most fans than the pandemic-battered Soldier Field in downtown Chicago.
“It’s a great venue on the lakefront, but it’s very difficult to get to on a Sunday. So lots of easy access to the Arlington Park property from north, south, east and west,” said Mayor Thomas Hayes.
Mayor Hayes says he thinks a majority of ticket-buying Bears fans would prefer a stadium in Arlington Heights to Soldier Field.