By Nancy Thorner –
On Wednesday, September 28, 2022, The Heartland Institute, a free market think tank founded in 1984, with headquarters at 3939 North Wilke Road, Arlington Heights, Illinois, held a discussion/debate titled Please Don’t Feed the Bears?, co-sponsored by Americans for Prosperity Illinois, at The Heartland Institute’s Andrew Breitbart Freedom Center. Brian Costin is the state Deputy Director of Americans for Prosperity. The debate centered around whether taxpayers should help build a stadium to bring the NFL to Arlington Heights.
As background, the Chicago Bears signed a purchase agreement for Arlington International Racecourse in September 2021. A move to the 326-acre property in Arlington Heights would allow the Bears ownership group to build not just a state-of-the-art NFL stadium, but create a modern “destination attraction” with hotels, restaurants, retail stores, offices, and homes. The sale of the property, to the bears or another buyer, could be announced by the end of this year or early 2023. As such the future of Chicago, the Bears, and many communities of the Northwest Suburbs could change drastically, and very soon.
Prior to the debate, Jim Lakely, Vice President of Heartland and Director of Communications, welcomed attendees and further offered a brief history of The Heartland Institute. Attendees were encouraged to check out Heartland’s podcasts and its many excellent offerings.
The debate featured Brian Costin, who worked at Heartland from 2007 – 2009 and for former Governor Rauner on policy before joining Americans for Prosperity, and James Taylor, President of The Heartland Institute.
Americans for Prosperity’s Costin argued against public subsidies