Would Chicago consider another tenant, including an NFL team, if the Bears left? Lightfoot weighs in – NBC Chicago
Chicago officials have put forward a number of proposals to keep the Bears lakeside, but if they were unable to reach an agreement to keep the chartered NFL franchise in town, Mayor Lori Lightfoot would consider there another anchor tenant, like another NFL team, at Soldier Field?
Lightfoot unveiled a series of proposals to make the stadium more attractive to the Bears in the long term, including an option that would install a dome structure over the existing playing surface.
That project could cost more than $2 billion, but when asked if another tenant would potentially be the target of such a deal if the Bears go ahead with a new stadium in Arlington Heights, she didn’t. didn’t rule out.
“Many cities have … two NFL teams,” she said. “I can see that as an option for someone else, yes.”
A massive stumbling block to such a proposal would be an NFL rule that would require the Bears to endorse another team entering the market. Teams have veto power to allow other clubs to move or expand into their designated market, and the Bears could either veto this possibility or try to convince any new team to share their stadium to Arlington Heights instead.
While there are many cities that have supported multiple NFL teams, and many cities that still support multiple teams in other sports, such as the Cubs and White Sox in Major League Baseball, there is no currently only two NFL markets that have multiple teams.
The New York Giants and Jets have shared a stadium since 1984, when the Jets moved into the Giants’ East Rutherford Stadium. In 2010, both teams opened MetLife Stadium, which has since hosted a Super Bowl and many other high profile events.
Los Angeles, which had supported several teams for years, was left without a team after the Rams moved to St. Louis and the Raiders to Oakland, but they managed to lure the Rams in 2016, with the team playing at games at the Los Angeles Coliseum during the construction of SoFi Stadium.
The Chargers also moved to the Los Angeles area in 2017, playing games at Dignity Health Sports Park, before joining the Rams at their new location in 2020.
This stadium recently hosted the Super Bowl, which the Rams won in February.
As for Chicago, the city has supported several NFL franchises in the past, with the Arizona Cardinals having called Windy City their home from their inception in the 1920s until 1960 when they moved to St. Louis. .
The Soldier Field project could potentially take three different levels of construction. The first and most intensive would see a dome added above the existing stadium, with new columns added to the end areas to support the structure.
Other options would include adding columns for a future dome, or altering the layout of the stadium to potentially serve as an attractive option for more international football matches, as well as improving existing facilities so that the Chicago Fire FC remains an anchor tenant in the building. .