The Bears made a fake pump on the way to build the new stadium.

NFL team plans to spend $5 billion to develop a new soccer field and entertainment district at former Arlington International Racetrack suddenly hang in the balance, and Naperville Mayor Scott Welley wants to intercept, Chicago Tribune Report.

“We will continue our ongoing demolition activities and work to carve a path forward in Arlington Heights, but this is no longer our sole focus,” the team said in a statement to the media. Demolition of the former racetrack began this week, but the team met with the mayor of Naperville on Friday to discuss plans to build a new stadium in their town.

The Bears closed a deal in February to purchase the Arlington Heights property for $197.2 million. Less than three months later, Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi reset the land value to $197 million from its previous tax value of approximately $33.5 million. The team has appealed, claiming the assessment was too high for a property that had been vacated for more than a year. Also, it’s unclear whether the team will receive enough public subsidies to help build the infrastructure for the project.

With those challenges in mind, Wehrli sent a letter to Bears president and CEO Kevin Warren, according to the outlet. The newly-elected official acknowledged the team’s commitment to the new stadium, saying it is “vital to success on the pitch and in pursuit of championships.”

“As you consider or reevaluate your relocation plans, I would like to formally introduce our community to your organization,” Wehrli wrote.

A potential location for the new stadium was not revealed, but one possibility is the former BP campus at Washington Street and Deal Road.

Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes said he understands the team is weighing all options, but he still believes the property in his town is the best option. Hayes encouraged the Bears to continue negotiating with surrounding school districts to secure property taxes from where the racetracks are located. Those three districts recently proposed a $95 million valuation, and the Bears are still pushing for a lower tax bill based on a $37 million assessment.

While Arlington Heights has been touted by some as the venue for the game, Naperville has some appeal. Its economy is the second largest in Illinois. Still, much of the Bears’ threat to divert attention could be political posturing as the team grapples with cheaper holding costs as it redevelops the Arlington Heights property.

— Quinn Donoghue

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