Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) has completed the sale of a property in Arlington Heights, Illinois, to nearby National Football League (NFL) franchise the Chicago Bears.
The initial deal was struck in September 2021, with the Bears having agreed to pay $197.2m to acquire the 326-acre site, which is currently home to Arlington Heights Racecourse.
The racecourse opened in 1927 and upon closure had a capacity of 35,000 seats. The venue had not hosted any form of racing since the deal with the Bears was agreed in 2021.
CDI first announced its plans to sell the site – on which the Bears may pursue plans to build a new stadium – in February 2021. However, upon completing the deal, the Bears said the purchase does not necessarily mean it will proceed with a new stadium project.
“Finalizing the purchase does not guarantee the land will be developed, but it is an important next step in our ongoing evaluation of the opportunity,” the Bears said in an open letter published after the deal closed.
“There is still a tremendous amount of due diligence work to be done to determine if constructing an enclosed state-of-the-art stadium and multi-purpose entertainment district is feasible.”
The sale comes ahead of next week’s scheduled announcement of CDI’s financial results for the 2022 fiscal year. The operator is due to publish its full-year report on February 23.