Churchill Downs Closes on $197M Arlington Sale to Chicago Bears

Posted on: February 15, 2023, 05:11h. 

Final up to date on: February 15, 2023, 05:25h.

Churchill Downs Included (CDI) introduced late Wednesday afternoon it has accomplished the sale of its Arlington Park property to the Chicago Bears.

A rendering of the preliminary grasp plan the Chicago Bears have developed for the Arlington Park property it purchased from Churchill Downs for $197 million. Churchill Downs introduced the deal for the 326-acre web site formally closed on Wednesday. (Picture: Hart Howerton/Chicago Bears)

The closing of the $197.2 million deal comes as anticipated, greater than 500 days after the Louisville-based firm introduced the NFL franchise was the profitable bidder for the 326-acre property within the Windy Metropolis’s suburbs.

The Bears acquired the property with a watch towards constructing a brand new stadium and mixed-use improvement in Arlington Heights.

In an announcement launched after CDI’s announcement, the Bears referred to as the closing “an vital subsequent step in our ongoing analysis” for the previous racetrack web site.

There’s nonetheless an incredible quantity of due diligence work to be performed to find out if establishing an enclosed state-of-the-art stadium and multi-purpose leisure district is possible,” the workforce mentioned.

If the Bears transfer ahead, the workforce mentioned it gained’t require taxpayer funds to construct a stadium. Nonetheless, workforce officers mentioned it might want “certainty” relating to property taxes. The workforce additionally insists the challenge would require public funding for infrastructure enhancements, reminiscent of highway work and drainage.

The workforce and Arlington Heights mentioned they’ll proceed good-faith discussions concerning the proposed improvement.

“We have now an obligation to make sure that any challenge proposed will likely be in the perfect pursuits of our residents earlier than any approvals are granted,” the Arlington Heights assertion learn. “Over the approaching months and years, we look ahead to working with the CBFC, our residents, and all different stakeholders in an open and clear method, whereas we work to discover the potential alternatives a improvement may convey to our area. Our aim is to work collectively to create a brand new regional vacation spot befitting of the good legacy of the property.”

Chicago Needs Bears to Keep in Metropolis

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has beforehand mentioned the town will work arduous to maintain the Bears at Soldier Area, the lakefront stadium within the metropolis. The present lease on that web site runs by the 2033 season. A clause in that settlement would enable the workforce to purchase out the lease in 2027 for $84 million.

Soldier Area was final renovated greater than 20 years in the past. That work has been extensively panned, because it positioned a contemporary stadium on high of what was a historic landmark.

With a capability of simply 61,500, Soldier Area is the smallest stadium within the NFL.

The Bears have envisioned constructing an enclosed stadium at Arlington Park, a venue that would result in it touchdown main occasions just like the Tremendous Bowl and the Ultimate 4.

If it proceeds with the challenge, the workforce mentioned it might function one of many largest megaprojects ever within the Midwest. The workforce mentioned an financial influence research confirmed development throughout the location would create greater than 48K jobs and a $9.4 billion increase to the regional financial system.

As soon as accomplished, the location would create greater than 9,750 jobs, the workforce mentioned in its Wednesday assertion. These jobs would generate greater than $600 million in employee revenue, that means the roles would have a mean wage in extra of $61K.

“The challenge would provide appreciable business and residential actual property alternatives year-round, and function a regional hub for leisure, procuring, and group occasions that complement the established companies and thriving group already in place,” the workforce mentioned.

Arlington Cash to Assist Finance P2E Buy

CDI mentioned in its assertion that it intends to make use of the proceeds from the Arlington Park sale towards the acquisition of gaming and racing properties it acquired final yr from Peninsula Pacific Gaming.

Churchill bought the Del Lago Resort in Waterloo, NY, the Arduous Rock Lodge and On line casino in Sioux Metropolis, Iowa, Colonial Downs in New Kent, Va., and 6 historic horse racing (HHR) properties in Virginia. The $2.75 billion deal additionally contains rights to construct further HHR parlors in Virginia and the rights to construct a on line casino in Richmond, Va.

Arlington’s future because the Bears stadium isn’t the one uncertainty associated to the deal.

Arlington Park was one among three thoroughbred racetracks in Illinois, with races happening there through the spring and summer season. When CDI shuttered the historic venue, firm officers mentioned they had been interested by opening one other facility within the state.

Nonetheless, Bob Denneen, tasks supervisor for the Illinois Racing Board, advised On line Wednesday that Churchill now not has a racing license within the state, and if it had been to suggest a brand new observe, the corporate must apply for a brand new license.

A message to a Churchill Downs spokesperson was not instantly returned Wednesday night.



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