Polling Place: Should taxpayers contribute to a state-of-the-art stadium for the Bears?

This Bears move, assuming it happens, is bound to rip open quite the can of worms.

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San Francisco 49ers v Chicago Bears

Is Soldier Field so bad, taxpayers should contribute to better NFL digs?

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Now here’s a real shocker: Most voters in this week’s “Polling Place” — your home for Sun-Times sports polls on Twitter — feel taxpayers should not be expected to contribute to a new, state-of-the-art NFL stadium in Arlington Heights or anywhere else around here, for that matter.

This Bears move, assuming it happens, is bound to rip open quite the can of worms.

“They can afford their own stadium without stealing from hardworking people who never consented or voted on building a new one,” @caleblastname commented.

“Unfortunately,” @thebreeze68 wrote, “the taxpayers won’t be given this choice. Corrupt politicians will.”

We also asked whom voters would root for if the Bears left for the suburbs and a second NFL team came to the area and played in the city. Finally, we asked which pro league would be the best one for a second Chicago franchise. How about a hockey team employing the Bears’ color scheme and called the Polar Bears? That was @gabebearsox3435’s suggestion, and a pretty evocative one at that.

On to the polls:

Poll No. 1: Many new stadium projects rely heavily on public funding. Should taxpayers contribute to a state-of-the-art NFL facility?

Upshot: It’s impossible to imagine much public support for lending the McCaskey ownership family a hand, especially given the Bears’ infrequent success on the field. On the other hand, palatial new digs that could compete with the best in the sport would be a real game-changer. “Tough for me to give one red cent to the McCaskeys,” @RonaldVoigt4 commented, “but it would be cool to have a world-class stadium.”

Poll No. 2: If the Bears moved to the suburbs and Chicago got a second NFL team that played in the city, which team would you root for?

Upshot: “That second team would be so popular,” @JimOwczarski opined. “Bears fans are on the edge — have been for years.” This, from @lincmorris, was a bit more in line with the voting: “As long as it was an AFC team, I’d root for both. In a potential Super Bowl between the two, Bears all the way!” Man, we have enough trouble getting just one team to the Super Bowl, don’t we?

Poll No. 3: If Chicago could add a second team in any league, which league should it be?

Upshot: A tip of the cap to the weisenheimers who said baseball; as far as we’re concerned, there can never be too many good-natured slights between Cubs and White Sox fans. But the NFL runs away with it here, and double the football sure is fun to imagine.

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