What should be done with Arlington Park?

When I think back to my favorite memories of the 4th of July, Arlington Park always pops into my head. I can think of numerous times growing up where my family and I spent the whole day betting, standing down at the white fence waiting for the horses to cross the finish line, drinking kiddie cocktails and being amazed at all of the people with the fancy hats. Then we would stay and watch the fireworks from the lawn. It was tradition. 

But the slow death of horse racing at Arlington Park is pretty much complete. The owner of the track, Churchill, recently announced that the venue is going up for sale. 

So if Arlington Park can’t be home to horses anymore, let’s make it home to the Chicago Bears. 

The Bears lag behind the rest of the NFL in many areas (let’s not talk about that)—but the stadium comparison sure stands out. Soldier Field, though placed near the South Loop, is not convenient at all. It’s hard to access because of limited public transportation options and to be honest, it looks like a spaceship. 

The City of Chicago is losing the most because of this stadium. Almost every major U.S city takes a turn hosting the Super Bowl or Final Fours, but Chicago sits out. 

Finding a site that can house a legitimate multipurpose, 80,000-seat stadium is not easy. Have fun finding that in the city. 

But this is where Arlington Park comes in. The racetrack sits on 326 acres. This is more than enough room for an enormous stadium, plenty of parking space and room for extra entertainment. Oh, and there’s a train stop directly next to the property. 

Arlington Park could give the Bears a home much closer to their practice facility in Lake Forest. It is 28 miles from the center of downtown Chicago. And some Some might say that’s far, but really it’s only about a 40 minute drive without a bunch of traffic. Additionally, this is how many other stadiums for NFL teams are set up. Hard Rock Stadium is 15 miles from downtown Miami, State Farm Stadium is 17 miles from downtown Phoenix, and Levi’s Stadium is 43 whole miles from San Francisco. 

Some would argue that the Bears belong in Chicago, but if you think about it, the majority of fans live in the suburbs. And it’s hard to imagine a better option for a major stadium development than the 326 acres of Arlington Park. We can swap one sporting venue with another to keep the entertainment alive. 

Obviously, there are other ideas for the replacement of Arlington Park like normal houses or strictly just more retail, but I think we should keep sports entertainment alive there. And with this large territory there will still be space remaining for some retail in the peripheral stadium. 

The Bears still have a long way to go, but at least they will get a stadium they deserve for fans to crowd in. And who knows, maybe then their offense will get themselves together, but let’s hope we don’t have to wait that long for that to happen.