Listen Live
Listen Live

On Air Now

Brushwood Afternoon Hits
Brushwood Afternoon Hits

Chicago Bears officials meet with Pritzker aides about proposed stadium

SHARE NOW

(The Center Square) – The Chicago Bears continue to make a case to state officials about building a nearly $5 billion stadium project with some taxpayer money.

Team officials met for the first time with top aides for Gov. J.B. Pritzker about their stadium plans. Several state leaders have said Illinoisans are not in support of tax dollars going to pay for sports stadiums, including the governor.

“I’m very hopeful they can put something on the table but you’ve got to remember that we have a lot of priorities for the state of Illinois,” said Pritzker at an unrelated event Wednesday. “We’ve been making a lot of progress making capital investments for the state and nobody has had a new stadium on that list.”

The Bears’ plan calls for $3.2 billion for the new stadium plus an additional $1.5 billion in infrastructure. The Bears have said they want the Illinois General Assembly to approve $1.5 billion in new bonding for the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, as well as tapping into existing hotel tax revenues.

After Wednesday’s meeting, Pritzker’s press secretary Alex Gough released a statement.

“As the Governor has said, the current proposal is a non-starter for the state. In order to subsidize a brand new stadium for a privately owned sports team, the Governor would need to see a demonstrable and tangible benefit to the taxpayers of Illinois,” Gough said.

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson supports the project, saying it would benefit taxpayers without adding new taxes.

“One of the defining features of this project is that it calls for the implementation of everything that my administration is calling for, true public investment,” said Johnson.

The Bears organization issued a statement following the meeting with the Pritzker administration.

“We had a productive conversation with the Governor’s office. We share a commitment to protecting the taxpayers of Illinois and look forward to further discussions,” the Bears’ statement said.