clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Waukegan wants to be considered for the new Bears stadium

The City of Waukegan throws its hat in the ring for the new Bears stadium and entertainment district.

US-NEWS-ENV-WAUKEGAN-POLLUTION-3-TB Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

On Monday, June 12, the Mayor of the City Of Waukegan, Ann B. Taylor, sent a letter to Chicago Bears CEO and President Kevin Warren indicating their desire to be included in the Bears’ search for a new stadium.

Waukegan, located about 50 miles north of Chicago, is near Interstate 94, U.S. Route 41, and has a stop on the Metra Union Pacific North Line that runs from Chicago to Kenosha, Wisconsin. So while there will be some transportation issues to hammer out, a solid structure is already in place.

“We believe that the Monsters of the Midway deserve the opportunity to continue the tradition of playing along the shores of Lake Michigan, with the market opportunity of having a year-round facility capable of hosting other major events, including the Super Bowl, the Final Four, and other events on an international scale,” Waukegan’s letter reads.

The letter also points out that Waukegan and Lake County have a history with the franchise and its players.

“In addition to the current PNC Center at Halas Hall, the previous Halas Hall was also located in Lake County at Lake Forest College, a short trip down Sheridan Road. Furthermore, the city of Waukegan was home to the Bears’ winter training facility in the early 1990s. For generations, Bears players have called Lake County their home, including the neighboring towns of Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Libertyville, Gurnee, Vernon Hills, Mettawa, and others. Some members of the Bears organization currently live in my neighborhood in Waukegan.”

Waukegan joins Naperville as competitors along with Arlington Heights now that the franchise has its options open in the search for a new home. Chicago’s Mayor Brandon Johnson has angled to keep the Bears in Chicago as well.

Considering the team closed on the Arlington Heights property for nearly $200 million, I still see that as the odds on favorite for the new stadium, but the longer it takes to finalize a deal, the less likely it becomes.