Reverend’s Rant, Text Edition: Why Moving the Bears From Soldier Field is Insane

| March 1st, 2021

The following is Reverend Dave’s response to Adam Hoge’s suggestion that the Bears buy the Arlington Park property in Arlington Heights and irrationally move the team into the suburbs. 

I like Hoge, but what is the point of this article?

Question answers itself.

Didn’t stop me from getting riled up like everyone else.

“Soldier Field offers nothing in terms of convenience. It’s hard to access, with limited public transportation options…”

The fuck it does.

Hoge claims the Arlington Metra stop makes it more accessible than Soldier Field. Accessible to who? The northwest suburbs? Are those the only people who count? From Joliet south and anywhere East, Arlington is a longer drive than Solider Field.

Meanwhile, there are multiple Metra stops in walking distance of the stadium. There’s the El train. Hell, Union Station itself is only 40-minutes. I can already hear the outcries at that ambulatory demand, but as someone who has taken the train from the Meadowlands (departing a mere 50 yards from the stadium entrance) many times, a 40-minute walk is way better than 40 minutes squashed in a mass of humanity waiting on that one method of egress.

“What Chicago needs – a legitimate multi-purpose, 80,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof.”

The fuck it does.

Why do we need a roof? I don’t romanticize freezing but sitting in the cold can be fun at a Bears game, even if it’s not for Hoge. Feels a lot more like football in the cold. Would the Pack put a lid on Lambeau?  

More importantly though, how does the fan experience benefit from an extra 20,000 people? Will that make parking or accessibility easier? Do I want the air to be even thinner when I buy tickets in the nosebleeds? Do I care if the McCaskey’s make more off ticket revenue?  

“When [Hollywood Park] is complete, it will be home to the Rams, Chargers, concerts, shopping, dining, nightlife, residences, office space, a hotel, and the NFL Network.”

Is this suppose to excite fans or sell city aldermen on a rezoning application?

Cause I’ve never pre-gamed by going shopping, I’ve never seen anyone paint their faces to show support for their favorite commercial real estate development, and I am positive no one has ever bought Rams tickets to check out the water feature outside the entrance, but all the rest of that shit exists right now without a dollar of additional investment within blocks of the Bears’ current stadium.

I could be on a barstool at George’s Cocktail Lounge (RIP) with an Old Style in my hands a half hour after the game ended. Couldn’t be more convenient. No water feature I suppose, but there is the Bean, oh and a real fucking lake. A ‘great’ one I hear.

“Be able to host Super Bowls, Final Fours and other events.”

I’ll never get the appeal of trying to watch basketball in a football sized venue (I understand opinions differ) and I don’t believe Chicago needs big sporting events to showcase the city. We aren’t Tampa. It’s Chicago, it sells itself. I do know the only Super Bowl I’d ever be interested in attending is one Chicago is playing in not hosting.

“…the benefits of being able to host global sporting events in the greater Chicagoland area might outweigh whatever revenue the city receives by hosting 10 Bears home games a year.”

Uh, the only true global sporting event, the World Cup, kicked off the tournament in 1994 in…Soldier Field. Can’t have faded much since then as it was on the venue shortlist for the US’s 2026 bid till the city withdrew because they decided the benefits of hosting that global sporting event didn’t outweigh the negatives.  

If stadium projects in the last 20 years taught us anything it’s that cities shouldn’t pay for sports stadiums and that is exactly what would happen here. Full stop. Look at how much just renovations ended up costing Chicago in 2002.

This column is so pointless.

Leave the Bears where they are.

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