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Churchill Downs sells Arlington Racecourse site to Chicago Bears for $200m


Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) has signed a purchase and sale agreement with NFL side Chicago Bears, which will see the latter obtain property in Arlington Heights for $197.2m. 

The 326-acre property is currently the home of horse racing track Arlington International Racecourse. The operator announced its plans to sell the site – on which the Bears are likely to pursue plans to build a new stadium – in February.

Chicago Bears CEO and president Ted Phillips said: “We are excited to have executed a Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) for the Arlington Park property. We are grateful to Churchill Downs Incorporated for their efforts to reach this point. We also appreciate the support of Mayor Tom Hayes and the Village of Arlington Heights.

“Our goal is to chart a path forward that allows our team to thrive on the field, Chicagoland to prosper from this endeavor, and the Bears organization to be ensured a strong future. We will never stop working toward delivering Bears fans the very best experience. We will continue to provide updates on our progress at the appropriate time.”

While the sale is still subject to closing conditions being met, it is expected to be concluded by the start of 2023 at the latest.

CDI will use the money from the sale to purchase or reinvest in replacement property.

CDI CEO Bill Carstanjen said: “This has been an extraordinarily competitive bid process. Congratulations to the Chicago Bears for their professionalism and perseverance. It is clear they are committed to an exciting vision for their team and their fans.

“We wish them the greatest success and are excited for the opportunity this brings to the Village of Arlington Heights and the future economic development of this unique property.”

The sale will provide further income for CDI, which recorded a 91.6% increase in revenue for the first half of 2021. The operator also launched its TwinSpires sports betting app in three different states this year alone.

Image: Marswilsalc