Poll: Arlington Heights residents support Bears move, oppose taxes

According a recent poll, more than two-thirds of residents in Arlington Heights say that the Bears should not collect taxpayer money if they decide to move from Soldier Field

A new poll released by the Illinois chapter of Americans for Prosperity revealed that Arlington Heights voters support a new Bears stadium in their area, but oppose financing the project with taxes. According to the Chicago Sun Times, the poll shows 72% of Arlington Heights voters approved of the Bears’ plans to build a stadium in Arlington heights, compared to just 18% who opposed the proposal. The survey also revealed that 68% of voters disapproved of the project being funded by taxpayer dollars, compared to 22% who supported funding with taxes. 

Earlier this month, Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes said in a media press release that he is opposed to this ordinance that American for Prosperity is supporting, saying that it is not something in the town’s best interest. Head of the Illinois chapter of the advocacy group, Brian Costin, said in a public statement “Our organization supports the Chicago Bears moving to Arlington Heights. But we are against using taxpayer handouts or subsidies to lure business to the community.”

The poll also included questions about other economic strategies in Arlington Heights, and concerns about the impact of a potential NFL stadium nearby. When asked about traffic impacts from a potential stadium, 47.8% responded that they are concerned about it and 47.5% said they are not. When asked about the potential impact on public services, such as public transport, police, and fire, 37% said they are concerned about an impact and 55% said they are not.

Since the beginning of last fall, the Bears have been exploring the idea of building a new state-of-the-art stadium on the current racetrack in Arlington Park. The team announced that it had reached an approximate agreement of $197.2 million to buy the racetrack from current owner Churchill Downs. While awaiting approval for this agreement in the meantime, the Bears have hired architects, land planners, and financial consultants to draw up plans for the prospective stadium despite pushback to keep the team at Soldier Field.

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