Group warns in opposition to public financing for Bears stadium

With discuss concerning the Chicago Bears relocating, some have raised involved about taxpayers choosing up the tab for a brand new stadium.

The staff has submitted a bid to purchase the Arlington Race Course property in Arlington Heights for doable improvement. Different events have reportedly made provides as properly.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has known as it a “negotiating tactic”, noting the Bears are locked into the Soldier Subject lease with the town till 2033.

If the Bears have been to maneuver, Brian Costin, deputy state director with People for Prosperity, stated the staff’s homeowners ought to pay for the stadium.

“Privately financed they usually make it on their very own reasonably than counting on forcing taxpayers to subsidize an organization that’s owned by billionaires,” Costin stated.

A number of NFL groups have used public financing to pay for brand new stadiums, together with a forty five% share of Minnesota Vikings stadium, and a whopping 86% share in Indianapolis for the Colts stadium.

The Bears beforehand mentioned the potential for constructing a stadium in Arlington Heights practically 50 years in the past, however as a substitute renovated Soldier Subject with the state of Illinois elevating funds to assist the staff achieve this. The Bears additionally undertook a significant renovation in 2002.

If the staff’s bid is accepted, Costin stated the general public needs to be cautious of optimistic financial impression research.

“The subtle gross sales pitch to elected officers to attempt to persuade them that it’s smart to take cash from the general public and the taxpayers and provides it to an organization is unwise and it isn’t good economics,” Costin stated. He added that financial impression research often don’t embrace the price to the taxpayer.

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Costin pointed to Bridgeview’s SeatGeek Stadium, which opened in 2006, for instance of how taxpayers get handed the invoice. The Village of Bridgeview issued $135 million normally obligation bonds for the development of the ability. Bridgeview’s bond score fell to junk standing in 2017 and property taxes have elevated.

It takes about 5 years to construct a brand new NFL stadium, so the earliest the Bears may relocate could be in 2026.

Costin is hopeful the town of Arlington Heights will not give the Bears a free journey to find there.

“If you’re going to be a contributing member to the neighborhood that you just’re in, you ought to be handled identical to each different enterprise and each different resident in that neighborhood and pay your property taxes like everybody else,” Costin stated.

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