Why give the Bears another chance to mess up a stadium?

The team complains about Soldier Field, but the organization is to blame for the way it looks and operates and all its foibles. Giving the Bears free rein to arrogate public property turned out to be a multifaceted disaster.

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Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears.

Solider Field, home of the Chicago Bears.

Scott Stewart/Sun-Times

I appreciate most of the Sun-Times’ coverage of City Hall and on how Mayor Brandon Johnson might deal with the Bears.

But in the stories I’ve seen about the Bears’ push to go to Arlington Heights, I notice you dutifully recite the team’s complaints about Soldier Field — such as it is the lowest-capacity stadium in the NFL, can’t be redesigned to increase seating nor to give them gambling amenities like the newest multi-billion-dollar NFL stadiums, and was obsolete before it was finished.

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Soldier Field is the way it is because the city and Park District allowed the Bears to remodel it entirely to their own specifications. That is, the Bears got exactly what they wanted 20 years ago. They, not Mayor Richard Daley, are to blame for the way the stadium looks and operates, and all its foibles, including their design that makes it less useful for soccer and concerts than it ought to be as a civic asset. Giving them free rein to arrogate public property turned out to be a multifaceted disaster.

There is no reason to believe the Bears organization could pull off turning 320 acres 30 miles outside the city into a sports entertainment and residential development, given they couldn’t even design their own stadium when they were given the chance and hundreds of millions of dollars in city money.

The Bears are a deeply incompetent organization that doesn’t understand its own core business. A team that can’t get its logo right on the field or develop a quarterback cannot be trusted to develop housing and essentially be given control of a municipality.

I would be happy to dump them on Arlington Heights, except as a resident of Illinois I might ultimately have to pay for the mistakes of the suburbs.

Moreover, various bloviators have moaned that Soldier Field is “difficult to get to.” Soldier Field is right on a Metra line that serves the South Side and suburbs. Could you put some effort into describing the trains and roads that serve Soldier Field, and compare those routes to the existing train line and roads that would have to serve 70,000 fans descending on Arlington Heights? And could you discuss the parts of the metro area that are within 40 minutes of each site and maybe do a graphic overlay of the demographics? That might speak to part of the Bears’ motivation. Or could you estimate the carbon intensity of the projected spectator travel to and from Arlington RaceDome relative to Soldier Field?

You might also show us the trend for years has been teams moving back to their cities.

Please stop giving the Bears undeserved credibility for their vague, dishonest and environmentally destructive sketch of a recessive plan. Hold them to account.

Evan Treborn, Uptown

Speaking style matters for candidates

Last week, I watched North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum’s speech announcing his candidacy for the presidency. Let me be clear: Given his political views, I would not vote for him, and I don’t think he has a realistic chance of being nominated.

Nevertheless, allow me to put on my hat as a communication scholar and make a few observations: Burgum has a pleasing rhetorical style, one standing in clear contrast to Donald Trump’s bombastic discourse and Mike Pence’s overly-scripted, clearly strategic and too smooth speech (delivered a few minutes after Burgum’s).

In many ways Burgum sounded like Jimmy Carter. He used his life’s experiences growing up in a small town to suggest why he could help the country. The substance and tone of Burgum’s rhetoric made him come off as believable, genuine and authentic.

Normally, after a few minutes, I tune out when others announce their candidacy. Candidates’ political views and policies don’t account for why I do this. Rhetorical style does explain this. Moral of the story: As I have argued in numerous op-eds, using a “rhetorical” perspective to analyze events and speeches is not inherently nor necessarily “political.”

Richard Cherwitz, Ph.D., Ernest A. Sharpe Centennial Professor Emeritus, Moody College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin.

PGA’s Faustian bargain

Apparently Jay Monahan and his handmaidens are unacquainted with Faust who sold his sole to the devil much as the PGA Tour has sold its to the Saudis. It did not turn out well for Faust and only time will tell whether the PGA Tour will suffer a similar fate.

In a free economy one should be able to sell his property to whomever, but choices always have consequences as Faust discovered and as likely Monahan et. al. will as well.

William Gottschalk, Lake Forest

The real reason youth are violent

Mark Wilkins’ recent letter on violent youth who won’t accept work is the most truthful thing in any newspaper. When children are raised in an environment without nurturing parents, the chances are much higher that the children will be dangerous as adults. This would be the case regardless of the skin color of the persons involved.

All you problem solvers, solve that! At least talk about it.

Susan Ohde, South Loop

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