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The Chicago Bears have shifted their new stadium hopes from Arlington Heights to the parking areas south of their current home, Soldier Field.

The Chicago Bears have shifted their new stadium hopes from Arlington Heights to the parking areas south of their current home, Soldier Field.

Brian Ernst

The Rundown: Are Soldier Field’s days numbered?

Good afternoon! My dogs try to peer pressure me into giving them a treat in the afternoon and it feels like this. Here’s what you need to know today.

1. The Chicago Bears are expected to unveil plans for a new stadium tomorrow

The proposal calls for a “state-of-the-art, publicly owned enclosed stadium” that would be located along the lakefront, Block Club Chicago reports, citing a press release.

Block Club also reports unnamed city officials will be present at tomorrow’s announcement, suggesting the plan may have support from Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration. [Block Club]

As my colleagues at the Sun-Times have reported, the Bears have promised to invest more than $2 billion into a public stadium. [Chicago Sun-Times]

What would happen to Soldier Field? The Chicago Tribune reports the stadium would be demolished under the proposal expected to be unveiled at noon tomorrow. [Chicago Tribune]

Meanwhile, the Bears are preparing for this week’s NFL Draft and are expected to pick USC quarterback Caleb Williams. [Chicago Sun-Times]

2. Chicago’s Loop shows signs of bouncing back from the pandemic

That’s according to a new report from the Chicago Loop Alliance, which found that weekend foot traffic is above pre-pandemic levels, my colleague Amy Yee reports.

But the report shows weekday activity still lags, and the area’s retail vacancy rate hit a record high of 30%.

Chicagoans and visitors are returning to the Loop “but we have to give them a reason to stay,” said Michael Edwards, president and CEO of the Chicago Loop Alliance.

“The Loop needs more investors to bet big on our district right now,” he said, citing wins from Google and JPMorgan Chase for their plans to open or refurbish offices in the Loop. [Chicago Sun-Times]

3. Illinois’ first federally recognized tribal nation spent decades trying to buy back land

As I mentioned yesterday, the Prairie Band Potawatomi is the state’s first federally recognized tribal nation after a federal decision placed 130 acres into trust.

Today, my colleague Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco reports the Indigenous nation has spent nearly a century working to reclaim its land.

A treaty in 1829 “reserved land in present-day northern Illinois for Chief Shab-eh-nay and the Prairie Band, where they remained for another two decades,” Ramirez-Franco writes.

“However, in 1849, Shab-eh-nay left the reservation to visit Kansas and on his return found that the state had taken his land and home and illegally auctioned it.”

Now, a state lawmaker is pushing legislation that would turn over Shabbona Lake State Park, just over 1,500 acres inside the historic footprint of the reservation, to the Prairie Band Potawatomi nation. [WBEZ]

4. Foxtrot and Dom’s Kitchen & Market abruptly closed all stores across Chicago

The specialty grocers announced the immediate closures of all their stores in Chicago and beyond, less than six months after the two companies shared plans to merge, my colleague Abby Miller reports.

According to a statement on Dom’s website, the grocer said closing the stores was a “difficult decision” and comes after the firms explored multiple avenues to keep the businesses open.

Ultimately, they couldn’t find a viable option.

Both Chicago-based companies had announced plans late last year to merge under a new company called Outfox Hospitality. The deal was expected to close by the end of the year, though no financial terms were disclosed. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Employees of Dom’s were reportedly walking out of a Lake View store this morning with “bags full of top-shelf liquor.” [X]

5. ‘Hot Ones,’ a popular talk show daring celebrities to eat spicy hot wings, is coming to Chicago

If you haven’t seen Hot Ones, you can find it on YouTube.

Hosted by Chicago-area native Sean Evans, the show features celebrities answering 10 questions as they eat increasingly spicy hot wings. It’s hilarious stuff, and I’d recommend watching a recent episode with Conan O’Brien.

Anyway, Eater Chicago reports Hot Ones will come to Chicago later this summer for a “unique live event,” wording that suggests it won’t be a live taping of the show.

It’s unclear when the event will take place, but it will go down in an “iconic Chicago location.” [Eater Chicago]

Comedian Maya Rudolph did a Hot Ones skit on her Apple TV+ show Loot that is really funny but, uh, too spicy for public radio. Rudolph also impersonated Beyoncé in an SNL skit about the singer trying to make it through all 10 hot wings. [Entertainment Tonight]

Here’s what else is happening

  • Antiwar protests on U.S. college campuses appear to reach a boiling point after dozens of demonstrators were arrested at New York University and Yale. [AP]

  • The former publisher of the National Enquirer told jurors he pledged to be former President Donald Trump’s “eyes and ears.” [NPR]

  • Baltimore is suing the operators of the container ship that crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge. [BBC]

  • NASA said the Voyager 1 space probe is once again making sense. [NPR]

Oh, and one more thing …

It’s getting harder for artists currently performing in the storefronts to make a living, my colleague Mike Davis reports.

“I love acting. It is my passion. It is my drive. But it is a struggle,” said William Anthony Sebastian Rose II, who works a 9-to-5 job while also performing in the evening.

New research from the National Endowment for the Arts found the median wage for an actor was $21.88 per hour in 2020. By 2023, that median wage had dropped 6% to $20.50 per hour.

“When COVID hit, it was a seismic shock to the sector,” said Sunil Iyengar, director of the office of research and analytics for the group. “Whether you measure it by economic output by these organizations, performing arts organizations took a major tumble, but then if you also looked at jobs, they were cut very severely.” [WBEZ]

Tell me something good …

With the weather warming up, what are your favorite restaurants for outdoor dining, whether it’s a patio or a rooftop?

Carla writes:

“Same Same in Roscoe Village has one of our favorite patios — and its outdoor space doubles in size when Roscoe gets blocked off in the summer! Delicious food and drink menu.”

And Mark writes:

“Our favorite is Topo Gigio in Old Town. The back courtyard is an oasis in the city … the front patio offers the best people watching on Wells Street. Couple that with a long-term staff, gracious service that welcomes you for the first or 50th time and a menu too long to mention. Topo is a Chicago classic and enchants everyone who goes. Always our place for out of town guests.”

Feel free to email me, and your response might be shared in the newsletter this week.

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