After Churchill Downs failed to secure next year's racing dates at Arlington Park, it kept the door wide open for the Chicago Bears to take over and buy up the 326-acre property.
The Chicago Bears confirmed in a June 17th report that they were among the bidders. When asked by Horse Racing Nation whether they would keep racing on the property, they declined to comment. Note that the Bears have publicly expressed interest in building a new stadium over the 326-acre property.
Have we reached the end of Arlington Park racing?
Churchill Downs Inc. was expected to apply for Arlington Park racing dates to secure their 2022 year of racing, but no such application was filed by the Friday, July 30th State deadline.
Not all hope is lost, however. There's at least one optimistic bidder with the aim of preserving racing: a group led by former Arlington President Roy Arnold of Endeavor Hotel Group, who placed their bid for the Arlington property back in June. Their group includes prominent thoroughbred owners and trainers, and they plan to upgrade the place. They aim at renovating the facility, the surrounding property, the racetrack surface, as well as applying for a sportsbook license.
Sources: Matt Stahl, Horse Racing Nation, Neil Milbert, HarnessRacingUpdate, Mitchell Armentrout, Chicago SunTimes