Bears will hold an “informational community meeting” next Thursday on Arlington Heights development

Next Thursday, the NFL will kick off a new season. At the same time, the Bears will conduct an “informational community meeting” regarding their potential new home in Arlington Heights.

The Bears have scheduled the session for 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. CDT on September 8, at the John Hersey High School gymnasium in Arlington Heights.

Technically, the meeting isn’t about the stadium itself. It’s about the potential development of the 326 acres, if the Bears buy the land. If that happens, however, what would they do other than build a stadium?

The announcement from the Bears points out that the meeting is “informational only and should not be confused with an official public meeting hosed by the Village of Arlington Heights.” If, as the Bears note, the project process, any and all required meetings will happen at a later date.

Still, it shows that the Bears are very serious about the possibility of leaving Soldier Field for what the announcement calls “a transit-oriented mixed-use entertainment district anchored by a stadium that would be one of the largest development projects in Illinois state history.”

Whatever that means, it ultimately means the Bears could be leaving downtown Chicago.