New Bears Stadium Could Be Arlington Traffic Nightmare, Residents Concerned

Written By C.J. Pierre on March 15, 2023Last Updated on March 16, 2023
Rendering of new bears stadium in arlington heights

The Chicago Bears’ future seems promising, both on and off the field. The Bears organization finalized the purchase of land at Arlington Park last month, bringing them one step closer to constructing a stadium at Arlington Heights. This new site may also become the location for an Illinois sportsbook.

However, there are several concerns regarding the team’s possible relocation from downtown Chicago to the suburbs. There are apprehensions about the effect of constructing a new stadium on the town’s infrastructure. Local residents are also worried about the increased traffic from the influx of people that will be attracted to the area once the stadium is established.

New Bears stadium could gum up traffic in Arlington Heights

People in Chicago have become accustomed to games at Soldier Field. However, everything would change if the team relocates to Arlington Heights.

A recent address discussing the state of the village in Palatine, a suburb located just northwest of the Arlington Park property, highlighted potential issues related to traffic and infrastructure that could arise from the stadium. Reid Ottesen, the Village Manager, expressed concerns that the stadium might lead to total gridlock in their community, preventing residents from reaching their destinations. He further noted that it could hinder their police and fire departments from responding to calls promptly.

Mayor Jim Schwantz of Palatine expressed concern that not just on Bears game days, but also on potential college basketball and football games, concerts and other events, the traffic on the roads would pose a significant problem. In addition to this, Ottesen stated that he, along with the village’s police and fire chiefs, will be visiting several NFL stadiums to evaluate the conditions there, including the traffic and the development of the surrounding areas.

Officials from Rolling Meadows in the vicinity have expressed “cautious optimism” regarding the arrival of the Bears. The city’s manager, Rob Sabo, has conveyed their enthusiasm for the potential commercial development, while also voicing concerns about the associated costs.

The development would necessitate more police and fire personnel, equipment, and emergency calls due to the increase in traffic and accidents. Concerns also exist about drivers using residential areas as shortcuts to avoid congested main highways during events. The surge in traffic may potentially lead to the initiation of new road and sewer projects.

Some residents say a Bears move could bring more headaches

The utilization of 326 acres packed with roaring Bears fans will certainly introduce new facilities that will attract a huge influx of people. A new stadium will likely draw more businesses intending to establish themselves in the vicinity and benefit from the increased pedestrian activity.

Nevertheless, some residents in the area argue that the stadium would bring additional issues. Jessica Hauth, a local resident, had a conversation with a local television station.

“Hauth expressed concerns about the impact of increased traffic in the area. He wondered where all these people would be coming from and how it would affect the neighborhood, particularly during late hours. He added, ‘People get drunk and stupid.'”

Matt Sells, a resident living just a few blocks away from the proposed entertainment complex, has voiced his concerns about the project. He fears it could potentially bring drastic changes to his quiet Arlington Heights neighborhood. According to Sells:

“If they cannot figure out how to carry on without disturbing the residents, it may not be beneficial for us.”

The organization of the Chicago Bears asserts that relocating to the area would generate thousands of jobs and contribute $1 billion to the regional economy.

Photo by Hawk Howerton
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C.J. Pierre

C.J. Pierre, a Lead Writer at Play Illinois, has a decade-long experience in news and sports coverage across online and TV platforms. Born and raised in Minneapolis, MN, he is a Minnesota State University: Moorhead alumnus. Recently, his work has delved into tribal casino and online gambling news, and he has also reported on the launch of sports betting in Arizona. Throughout his career, C.J. has covered high school, college, and professional sports, including notable coverage of the Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Vikings, and North Dakota State University football. In addition to his writing skills, he also has a background in reporting and videography.

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