A detailed view of the Chicago Bears helmet before the game against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field. Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

When the Chicago Bears purchased land in suburban Arlington Heights in February 2023, it felt like just a matter of time before shovels hit the dirt and ground was broken on a new stadium.

Sixteen months later, the Bears are no closer to a new stadium than they were upon purchasing the 326-acre property that formerly held Arlington International Racecourse, a horse racing track that stood in the spot for decades.

Instead, the Bears find themselves back at square one.

In April, team president Kevin Warren unveiled plans for a new stadium along Chicago’s lakefront, not far from Soldier Field. The plan would see the Bears put up $2 billion for the publicly-owned stadium while turning to taxpayers for whatever remains.

On Tuesday, Warren reaffirmed the team’s plans to build the new lakefront stadium, despite lawmakers from various suburbs reaching out and trying to convince the Bears to move to their towns.

“I show great respect for anyone who reaches out to us, but our energy and effort is focused on the lakefront right now,” Warren said, via WGN TV. “And we think that would add so much value to Chicago.”

The issue for Warren and the Bears remains that Illinois governor JB Pritzker has repeatedly called public funding a non-starter.

While the Bears would likely also seek public funding to move to Arlington Heights, it still feels much more reasonable and likely than the pipe dream of remaining on Chicago’s lakefront.