Even the NFL Is Leaving Lori Lightfoot’s City
The Bears are the latest franchise to get the heck out of Chicago.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has the same delusions of adequacy as the Biden administration. She claims her city’s economy is booming, even though that’s clearly not the case. Chicago’s high crime rate and unsafe city streets are driving away businesses at an alarming rate.
So attractive is the Windy City these days that Fortune 500 companies like Citadel, Caterpillar, and Boeing have relocated their headquarters to redder, more business-friendly states like Florida and Texas.
The saddest development yet, however, is that the National Football League’s Chicago Bears are also leaving the city. This team has a long and storied history, having been established in 1920 as the Decatur Staleys before becoming the Chicago Bears in 1922. A century later, the franchise is considered one of the most successful in the history of the sport.
Despite these strong ties to the city, the team is moving out of Chicago to Arlington Heights, a suburb 30 minutes to the north. This move has been a year in the making, ever since Bears leadership purchased 326 acres in Arlington Park, which had been the site of thoroughbred horse races since 1927.
Mayor Lightfoot has desperately been trying to do damage control and entice the Bears to stay in Chicago. On Monday, she came up with a three-option proposal as a last-ditch effort. She offered to renovate Soldier Field with a dome; to rebuild the endzones with the potential for a dome in the future; or to make the stadium multipurpose to host other sports and other events such as concerts and conventions. These options represent investments of $900 million to $2.2 billion.
But the usual leftist solution of throwing money at a problem won’t work this time — not if we’re to believe this statement from the Bears: “As part of our mutual agreement with the seller of that property, we are not pursuing alternative stadium deals or sites, including renovations to Soldier Field, while we are under contract. We have informed the City of Chicago that we intend to honor our contractual commitments as we continue our due diligence and predevelopment activities on the Arlington Heights property. In the meantime, we remain committed to fulfilling our Permit Operating Agreement (POA) at Soldier Field.”
Why the move? We suspect the city’s rampant crime has something to do with it. Lightfoot has long antagonized the Chicago Police Department, and the leftist policies that have run this city for decades have ground it into the gutter. Not even tourists are safe from the city’s unsavory elements. Popular destinations like Millennium Park have been the scene of murderous shootings, and Lightfoot is disinclined to invest in the city’s criminal justice system and clean up the streets.
The Bears aren’t alone, though. Other pro teams also seem to be tiring of leftist ways and woke policies. Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has instituted a new rule for his players: No more kneeling on the field. Tomlin, whose team has more national anthem kneelers than any other, is tired of the disrespect it conveys toward America.
Tomlin supported his players’ sentiments when the protesting first started in 2017, but he’s now ready for them to focus on what they’re paid so handsomely to do: win football games. We’ll see if this rule holds out once the season gets started.