Chicago deserves what the city failed to deliver. They deserve a domed stadium suitable to host a Super Bowl, a Final Four and a college football national championship game. Such a venue would host concerts, big-time soccer events, Wrestlemania and maybe even the Chris Rock-Will Smith rematch. (Mark Tupper/Herald and Review)
The Herald and Review, a Decatur, Illinois newspaper, published an op-ed by Mark Tupper. a retired Executive Sports Editor.
Tupper is cheering the McCaskey Bear’s potential move to Arlington Heights. The piece is misinformation, lousy historical research, blissful ignorance, or all three by Mr. Trotter.
First, Arlington Heights is not Chicago. Secondly, Chicago did not fail to deliver anything. Going on four decades, the McCaskey’s had ample opportunities to build a new world-class domed stadium in the city. There were vast tracts of available vacant land. There were large tracts along the Chicago River to put up a riverfront stadium. The problem was never the city or its political leaders. The problem was the McCaskey’s.
The McCaskey’s inherited one thing from their grandfather, George Halas, the cheapskate and chiseler gene. They squeeze a penny so hard they make old Abe scream. They did not want to put up money to even purchase the land or go into debt. They did not want to partner with some deep-pocket investors or developers. They expected the city and state taxpayers to finance the whole thing.
The City of Chicago could and would have intervened and facilitated the purchase of land from the owners/future developers. There may have been an opportunity for partnerships. The McCaskey’s refused. They were too cheap, just plain too stupid, or a combination of the two.
After the 1986 Superbowl win, the McCaskey’s were in the catbird seat. Yet, they did nothing, zero, zip, nada. Their intention for four decades was to leave the city. They are suburban and ex-urbanites. They never had any love for the city or the fans. They never had or displayed any civic pride.
Most of those large tracts of land are now being developed into massive residential-commercial-entertainment areas the size of small towns. A few are being proposed for Chicago’s casino-entertainment area. Everyone knew- the city, the McCaskey’s, the people of Chicago- that the Soldier Field renovation to suit the Bears was a fiasco. Yet, the McCaskey’s signed off on it. They, and they alone, are to blame.
The miserly McCaskey’s are solely at fault for not having a world-class domed stadium built in Chicago. Their overblown sense of privilege and entitlement is to blame, not the City of Chicago or other government entities. The McCaskey’s wanted a stadium for free or as close to free as possible. They also wanted out of Chicago.
With their pending purchase of the Arlington Racetrack property, they may get their wish. Arlington Heights already is discussing concessions for taxpayer funding. There may be other funding available, including from the NFL.
The miserly McCaskey’s will fund little of the total price tag for their gleaming brand-new toy. The new stadium will boost the bottom line of the team’s value, speculating a cashout, allowing the McCaskey’s to live a life of Champagne and caviar dreams.
If the McCaskey’s were not such notorious cheapskates and chiselers, they would have had a world-class stadium years ago. Chicago would have hosted Super Bowls and other mass stadium events. It would have been a win-win for the McCaskey’s and the city.
I can understand Mr. Trotter’s misinformation. Decatur is in south-central Illinois. Far away from the big city. His inner fan-boy over the McCaskey’s got the best of him and he failed to do the necessary deep research.
Once again, the only blame for the Bear’s potential move to Arlington Heights, or anyplace else, rests with the McCaskey’s, not the City of Chicago. As I said before, if the McCaskey’s want to move, I hope the door kicks them in the arse on the way out.