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. …