Pritzker: Bears 'don't need taxpayer funds'
CHICAGO - Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker expressed skepticism Wednesday about proposals that would reduce taxes or provide public cash to the Chicago Bears as they attempt to build a new stadium in Arlington Heights.
However, an influential state lawmaker tells FOX 32 that he is confident a compromise will be worked out before the general assembly adjourns next month.
Pritzker indicated that he is still hoping against hope the Bears will remain in the city of Chicago while acknowledging that they have strong financial reasons to leave Soldier Field.
"I'm rooting for the Bears. I'm also a Chicagoan, I'd love it if they stayed in Chicago, but it is their choice as a private business about where they're gonna go," said Pritzker.
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Since unveiling artists' renderings of the football-oriented complex they hope to build on the former site of Arlington International Race Course, the Bears and political allies have attempted to push through several different measures, but so far, they have gone nowhere.
The mayor of Arlington Heights said the team needs what he called "tax certainty" from their financial planning.
A state representative from the northwest suburbs is working on a proposal that would send Chicago millions of dollars to compensate for the loss of the team and provide the Bears financial help too.
"I want to make Chicago whole. I think we should make Chicago whole if they're going to leave, and it's not gonna cost the Bears anything and it's not going to cost the state anything,' said state Rep. Martin Moylan.
Rep. Moylan says he is talking to stakeholders about a $3 tax on all tickets sold at the new stadium in Arlington Heights. The tax would not just be for Bears games but for concerts and other events held at the stadium as well.