A Super Bowl In Illinois? State Could Host Major Sports Events If Bears Buy Arlington

Written By Joe Boozell on June 21, 2021Last Updated on January 10, 2022
arlington bears illinois events

Last week, the Chicago Bears made headlines by announcing their intention to purchase Arlington International Racecourse. The 326-acre land, owned by Churchill Downs, was put on the market earlier this year.

Should the racing and gaming company choose the Bears’ proposal, it would signify the end of an era. The majority of betting fans of the Chicago Bears are aware that the team has been playing at Soldier Field since 1971.

It’s easy to comprehend why a suburban mega-venue would attract the Bears. The venue could host major sports events such as the Super Bowl, Final Fours, and College Football Playoffs.

And if we’re really becoming ambitious, how about the World Cup?

In April, Illinois ranked second in the US sports betting market, recording $537.2 million in handle and trailing behind New Jersey for the month. Looking ahead to the next decade and beyond, Illinois is expected to maintain its prominent position in the sports betting industry.

The notion would only be reinforced if she began to regularly host major sports events.

Had Illinois host the March Madness or the Super Bowl?

Lineups.com penned an article last year about the top 10 sporting events that received the most bets.

The World Cup, March Madness, and Super Bowl are all among the top five sporting events. The World Cup is the premier event. Thanks to the construction of a venue with a retractable roof in Arlington Heights, Illinois is equipped to host such high-profile competitions.

Even though the College Football Playoff did not rank in the top 10, it is still a popular event for sports betting.

Arlington Heights, Illinois, could get the chance to join the same rotation as other cities such as Indianapolis, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Dallas (Arlington), and so on.

These events draw thousands of spectators from outside the town, potentially boosting the Illinois sports betting market significantly. This could lead to increased revenue for operators in IL and more tax income for the state.

Even with app outages for significant parts of the day, Illinois residents placed over $45 million in bets on the Super Bowl in 2021.

Undoubtedly, if the Super Bowl occurred in Illinois, the total amount wagered would have been higher.

Would there be a casino in Arlington Heights?

While it’s too soon to make a definitive statement, it seems logical to consider the installation of a casino at Arlington Heights Stadium.

PointsBet is the official sports betting partner of the Bears, however, they have not sought to establish a retail sportsbook at Soldier Field.

That being said, a service in Arlington Heights did experience significantly higher annual foot traffic compared to Soldier Field. Given that Soldier Field is quite isolated, theoretically, a suburban facility would be surrounded by an entire entertainment district.

These ifs are impressive, however, it’s probable that a retail sportsbook would yield substantial profits at this theoretical stadium.

Mayor Lightfoot dismisses the notion with warm waters.

The offer from The Bears to purchase the property lends credence to the rumors that Arlington Heights has an interest. However, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot swiftly advocated for the team’s continued residence in the city.

She adopted a straightforward approach, diligently working on the brand. Her actions were her declaration:

As stated in her declaration, this is a strategy for negotiations. Some supporters believe that Soldier Field ranks among the NFL’s worst stadiums, and this might be a maneuver to negotiate improvements.

Churchill Downs will be sifting through numerous gifts. Roy Arnold, an erstwhile president of Arlington Park, has put forth another usual proposal. Arnold is keen to maintain the horse racing activities on the premises.

Illinois’ sports, games, and racing industries will be significantly impacted by the upcoming sales.

Pictures taken from an AP report
Boozell, Joe Avatar
authored by

Boozell, Joe

Since 2015, Joe Boozell has been a college sports writer for NCAA.com. His work has also been featured on Bleacher Report, FoxSports.com, and NBA.com. During his youth, Boozell competed against Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky on the basketball courts of Chicago. As one might expect, those matches were quite challenging.

View all posts by Boozell, Joe