Proposal after Proposal Has Been Thrown around like a, Well, Football as with Earlier Plans, Money Will Be Linchpin in the Latest

By Allen, Jim | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), September 14, 1996 | Go to article overview

Proposal after Proposal Has Been Thrown around like a, Well, Football as with Earlier Plans, Money Will Be Linchpin in the Latest


Allen, Jim, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Jim Allen Daily Herald Staff Writer

In 1995, the Bears demanded new stadium proposals from the state, the city and the private sector and put a Jan. 1 deadline on the affair.

It amounted to the longest overtime in team history.

First the Bears unveiled a design for an open-air $285 million stadium and shopped it around to several suburbs, including Hoffman Estates and Warrenville.

Fearing the city would be stuck with a white elephant, Mayor Richard M. Daley responded with a $171 million reconstruction of Soldier Field last October.

The Bears were unimpressed with the bottom line on annual revenue, and team officials scoffed at a rebuilt stadium with so many seats in the end zones.

Next came a consortium of business interests from northwest Indiana, who talked of a gleaming $312 million "Planet Park" with seating for more than 70,000 fans on vacant industrial land near the Gary Airport. Bears President Michael McCaskey was dazzled.

Despite the support of a power utility and labor unions, the plan died because it hinged on passage of a 0.5 percent income tax. Election-bound commissioners in Lake County, Ind., saw taxpayers revolt and refused to jump aboard. …

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