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Column: When cities line up for stadium deals, they get sacked.

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22.09.2021

Like many sports franchises whose owners want to augment their already immense riches, the Chicago Bears are pondering a relocation. After a full century of playing in the city, the Monsters of the Midway could move to suburban Arlington Heights — unless, of course, Chicago wants to make it worth their while to stay.

Season ticket holder Lori Lightfoot, whose day job is mayor, concedes that Soldier Field has deficiencies when it comes to the “fan experience” and to “revenue-generating opportunities.” While insisting any changes would have to be “fiscally prudent,” she sounds as though she’s willing to meet the Bears halfway. But she ought to flee as if Khalil Mack were chasing her.

Cities that bargain with team owners rarely profit from the experience. That’s because the owners have all the negotiating advantages. Owning a business that enjoys a monopoly in their region, they can choose from an abundance of cities and towns that would love to have them. And they know the fans and TV revenues will keep coming regardless.

The Dallas Cowboys vacated Dallas 50 years ago. The New York Jets and Giants........

© Chicago Tribune


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