Minor League Baseball Park Proposed For Arlington Heights Racetrack Land

Bears ownership seems unimpressed.

There does not appear to be much movement in the National Football League’s Chicago Bears franchise possible move to Arlington Heights, Illinois. There is the usual if we do this, maybe we can do that going on, as there are no concrete proposals at this point. It takes a long time from getting land to building an NFL stadium but there was a nugget recently unearthed about the stadium-village plan that Bears ownership might be seeking. The Bears franchise ownership has an agreement to buy the Arlington Park racetrack land parcel from the Churchill Downs’ business arm for $197.2 million. The Arlington Heights, Illinois property has more than enough room for not only a football stadium but also an area complete with housing, retail and office space. But the Bears-Churchill Downs agreement is not set in stone. The purchase and sales agreement needs to be signed. That won’t happen before 2023 at the earliest.

Bill Larsen, who is the former general manager of the Kane County, Illinois,  Cougars minor league baseball team, wants to see a minor league baseball complex somewhere within the 326 acres that Bears ownership could develop. Larsen wrote in a February email to Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes that the field would host four to six teams of undrafted college players. Larsen told the Daily Herald newspaper he wants to build a 4,000-seat baseball stadium on approximately 10 to 15 acres of land on the site. It would be the home for a new developmental league he’s trying to organize for baseball players who go undrafted by big-league teams. There would be four teams at first and all of the games would be played at the Arlington Park stadium. Larsen has not heard from Bears ownership about his proposal. Bears ownership has hired an architect and other consultants to come up with ideas. It’s a start.

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FILE – Chicago Bears’ Khalil Mack walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Oct. 3, 2021, in Chicago. . (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski, File)