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State Week: Pritzker punts on Bears talk

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Brian Mackey

The NFL's Chicago Bears announced this week an agreement to purchase the former Arlington International Racecourse in the northwest suburbs. The decision could potentially lead the team to move away from Soldier Field. Gov. J.B. Pritzker downplayed any rumblings of state financial incentives to keep the Bears in Chicago or help build a new multi-billion dollar facility. He referred to the team as "a private enterprise engaging with city governments to decide what’s best for them."

On this episode of State Week, we discuss what the Bears might be considering and look back at past governmental efforts to help sports franchises.

Our panel includes host Sean Crawford, Statehouse Editor Hannah Meisel, longtime statehouse reporter and observer Charlie Wheeler and Peter Hancock, a reporter for Capitol News Illinois.

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Hannah covers state government and politics for NPR Illinois and Illinois Public Radio. She's been dedicated to reporting on the statehouse since interning at NPR Illinois in 2014, with stops at outlets including WILL-AM/FM, Law360, The Daily Line and a temporary stint at political blog Capitol Fax.
The director of the Public Affairs Reporting (PAR) graduate program is Professor Charles N. Wheeler III, a veteran newsman who came to the University of Illinois at Springfield following a 24-year career at the Chicago Sun-Times.
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