Why didn’t the Bears build a stadium and their headquarters in the city? That is the question the mayor, alderpersons, governor, citizens, fans, and the failing local news media should be asking. There was and still is plenty of land available. Even during the past decade, they could have partnered with developers to build a new stadium emporium. There was even land to build a stadium on the riverfront.
The local news media is slobbering and drooling over the Macaskey’s like they are British Royalty. They are hyping the move like PR weasels instead of journalists. They are afraid to ask why? They refuse to ask why the McCaskey’s never built a stadium in Chicago.
They took our loyalty and vacuumed our dollars for their crappy memorabilia with the orange and blue C for Chicago logo. They laughed at us while we made them wealthier every year.
The move should be no surprise, as the Chicago Bears headquarters, Halas Hall, is in Lake Forest, not Chicago. The Bears organization is a suburban entity, not a Chicago entity. The McCaskey family are suburbanites, not Chicagoans.
Several other sports franchises left their home cities or moved to border states while keeping their city of origin names. Those cities do not have the tremendous civic pride Chicago has or used to have. If you are a Chicago team, you play in Chicago.
When the former Comiskey Field was too old and dilapidated to make cost-effective repairs, the White Sox owners could have moved. They could have built a new glitzy stadium in one of the south suburbs, where there was plenty of land available and town officials who would do their bidding. Instead, the owners built the new stadium next door to the old one. They stayed in Chicago.
When the old Stadium, which hosted the Bulls and the Blackhawks, was past its prime, their owners could have moved both teams to the suburbs. They built a new stadium on the old site and made other investments in the area. It helped fuel residential and commercial real estate development in the area.
When Wrigley Field had structural issues due to its age, the Cub’s owners could have pulled up stakes, moved to the suburbs, and turned the landmark park into a museum or some other venue. They renovated the Wrigley Field.
The Wrigleyville neighborhood was overhauled, including hotels, to the point the surrounding area is unrecognizable. Many people come to Chicago from other places to see their home teams play the Cubs. They leave their money in Wrigleyville instead of downtown.
The Bears organization and the McCaskey family have no love for or civic pride in Chicago. If they did, they could have put an emporium-style stadium in the city wherever and whenever they wanted.
Another new stadium would be a boon for any neighborhood they chose. The McCaskey’s decided to bring economic development dollars to the suburbs. Like the Bears, Chicago will be the losers.
If the Bears move, we, as a city, should not wish them well. We should wish them the worst. Our news media should stop their gloating over the move or leave with the Bears. They are doing a disservice to the city. They could be replaced in a heartbeat by civic-minded news organizations who care about Chicago and its future.