ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL — Americans for Prosperity Illinois (AFP-IL) Deputy State Director Brian Costin released the following statement on the Chicago Bears Arlington Park town hall meeting at Hersey High School this evening:
"We are elated to hear the Chicago Bears can build a 'best-in-class enclosed stadium' at Arlington Park without taxpayer subsidies. We should take that statement as a promise to the residents and taxpayers of Arlington Heights and Illinois.
“However, if the Bears are telling the truth about not being able to develop the rest of the park without massive taxpayer subsidies, then it’s a clear sign they shouldn’t.
"No one should force the Bears to invest in a project they find too financially risky. After all the Bears are a just a sports team and have no relevant experience in real estate development, let alone ownership.
"And if the Bears think this using tax dollars for any of the project is such a good idea for the citizens of Arlington Heights, they should call for the board to put it on the ballot and get real taxpayer approval.
"The Bears haven’t owned a stadium in 100 years. They haven’t paid property taxes in over 50 years. And they pay only $6.5 million in rent on a stadium whose bond payments are just under $50 million per year and will balloon to over $86 million by 2032.
"The Bears shouldn’t saddle themselves with the additional financial burden and pressure of undertaking, 'one of the largest development projects in Illinois state history' when they clearly aren't capable.
"Certainly, the taxpayers of Arlington Heights and Illinois – who already pay some of the highest combined state and local taxes in the nation – shouldn’t be forced into paying for such a risky project either."