Chicago Bears team president to concentrate on Arlington Park property

Along with the staffing changes announced Monday, the Chicago Bears' possible move to Arlington Heights is looking more and more likely. 

Bears Chairman George McCaskey said team President Ted Phillips' responsibilities will be changing, so Phillips can devote more time to spearhead the move.

"[Phillips] has persuaded me that with the pending acquisition of the Arlington Park property, its evaluation as a possible future Bears stadium occupying much of his time and attention, the General Manager should report to me," McCaskey said of Phillips' changing role.

McCaskey calls the possible move to the former site of the Arlington Park International Racecourse "a long-term proposition."

"We're adding staffing and hiring outside vendors to help us with our exploration with the Arlington Park property as a possible stadium site," McCaskey said, while comparing the current phase of the acquisition to buying a home. "In a property this size, that time between 'under contract' and 'closing' is vastly expanded. There's a lot of due diligence that needs to be performed before we can close."


"A stadium is a 25- to 40-year commitment, so this is a very big deal for the Bears and for the McCaskey Family," said Marc Ganis of Sportscorp Ltd.

Ganis sees the Bears' possible move as a 4- to 6-year process--a year or two to plan, and at least three years to build the stadium itself.

"There is absolutely nothing an NFL team does that is more significant than building a new stadium. That is the biggest thing that the team itself does," said Ganis.

As for the possibility of the Bears opting to stay at Soldier Field, Ganis says he does not see the kind of "cooperative goodwill" between the team and the city that it would take for the team to remain in Chicago proper.