Illinois lawmakers are ending the session without addressing funding for a new Bears stadium in Illinois

(The Center Square) – The Chicago Bears will have to wait for government support for a new stadium project.

The Illinois Legislature, which ended its spring session early Wednesday, won’t act on a new Bears stadium until this fall at the earliest, if at all.

The Bears unveiled the project in April with a price tag of $4.7 billion, which includes a domed stadium and surrounding infrastructure. Illinois taxpayers would have to pay about $2 billion.

Bears president Kevin Warren hoped to break ground on the project this fall.

The team faced an uphill battle, and Governor JB Pritzker has repeatedly rejected the idea of ​​using taxpayer money to help.

“We have to be careful how we use public dollars and a private company as a professional team, even though they are loved by so many people, yet comparable to many other companies in the state,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker’s chief of staff Anne Caprara and Deputy Governor Andy Manar met with the Bears, who called it a “productive conversation.”

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson supports the project and said the plan would result in no new taxes for the city’s residents.

The Bears weren’t the only team seeking public money from the state. The White Sox continue to explore building a new stadium, and the Chicago Red Stars women’s soccer team is also looking to upgrade.

Members of the Illinois House Democratic Women Caucus supported legislation that they say highlights inequality in the women’s professional sports industry in Illinois. The recently filed legislation, sponsored by state Rep. Eva-Dina Delgado, D-Chicago, aims to increase inclusivity and ensure equitable support for both men’s and women’s sports, in line with the state’s broader equity goals.

“This spring, we have heard a number of costly requests from some of the most successful and celebrated men’s sports franchises in our state, while women’s teams haven’t even gotten a seat at the table at the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority. House Bill 5841 will ensure that as we consider plans for men’s teams, we will give the same consideration to women’s teams,” the caucus said in a statement.

Back To Top