The Chicago Bears, one of the two original National Football League teams, is still owned by the family of 1920 owner George Halas, who would go on to coach the Bears for 40 years (with the exception of a few years for military service). Virginia Halas McCaskey is the franchise’s current owner.
The franchise started in Decatur, Ill., in Sept. 2020. George Halas founded the team as the Decatur Staleys and it soon moved to Chicago and became the Bears. Halas is known for being a successful Bears coach for decades. Today, his daughter Virginia McCaskey is the owner, and her son is chairman.
Virginia Halas McCaskey's net worth
Virginia Halas McCaskey, daughter of legendary coach George Halas, inherited the Chicago Bears franchise upon Halas’s death in 1983. The team, which Sports Illustrated said was purchased for $100 in 1920, is now worth approximately $4.075 billion, according to an Aug. 2021 Forbes estimate.
A century of NFL franchise ownership has been good to McCaskey and the rest of her family. The 98-year-old heiress’s individual net worth was estimated to be $1.3 billion in 2021. Sports Illustrated reports that she owns 80 percent of the Bears.
McCaskey is a hands-off owner but said of the team's ownership, “Our Hall of Fame General Manager, Jim Finks, used to say, ‘Do the right thing.’ Those are pretty good words for any situation, including running a professional sports team.”
Other current Chicago Bears leadership
The Bears are led by president and CEO Ted Phillips, the first to have that position who isn't part of the Halas family. The team's chairman, Virginia McCaskey’s son George McCaskey, oversees day-to-day operations.
The team plays at Chicago's Soldier Field, though that may change if the team moves to Arlington Park, a former racing venue.
The remaining 20 percent of the Chicago Bears is jointly owned by Andrew McKenna, Sr., and Patrick Ryan. McKenna was a McDonald’s director and chairman, and Ryan founded consulting company Aon.
Who will be the next owner of the Chicago Bears?
Someone else will own the Bears, eventually (Virginia McCaskey will turn 99 in Jan. 2022). It's likely that the team will remain in the family, with plenty of Virginia’s descendants available to take over.
Chairman George McCaskey said in 1917 that the family had “no intention of selling” the team, though rumors circulated in summer 2021 that the family might reconsider, with Jeff Bezos being mentioned as a potential buyer.
The Chicago Bears–Green Bay Packers rivalry
The Bears-Packers rivalry is one of the longest in the league’s history. The teams have played over 200 times since owner and founder George Halas scored the final touchdown in their first matchup in 1921, in which the Bears defeated the Packers 20–0.
The Packers defeated the Bears again in Sunday Night Football on Dec. 12, 2021, reminding fans of Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers’s comment during their October game, “I still own you!” However, Rodgers was speaking in a competitive way and not speaking of literal ownership. The Packers have a slight edge in the two franchises’ overall record.