Where will the Bears play during potential new stadium construction? Team aims to stay in Chicago

Where will the Bears play during potential new stadium construction? Team aims to stay in Chicago originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

During a press conference at Soldier Field, Kevin Warren and the Bears unveiled their plans for a new stadium along Chicago’s lakefront on Wednesday.

Warren, while answering a question about when they plan to file a legislative bill, said he hopes the hypothetical stadium is ready to play in 2028. He wants to get things underway immediately, passing the legislation necessary to begin construction. Warren estimates 36 months are necessary for the total construction of the stadium.

But where would the Bears play during the construction of their new stadium, should they move forward with the plan? They aim to remain in Chicago.

“One of the things that makes this project unique is that we would be able to continue to play at Soldier Field during the construction and then be able to move into the new stadium once the construction is finalized,” Warren said. “So yes, we would be able to continue to play here and not have to move to a different location which is really imperative especially where we are in our growth cycle as a football franchise.”

The Bears’ commitment to remaining in the city of Chicago permanently, as opposed to constructing a stadium in the suburbs, undoubtedly allows them to remain at Soldier Field until construction is complete.

Obviously, there’s the prerequisite of needing legislative approval for the stadium plan in its entirety before the Bears can talk about temporary locations. However, because Warren has a strong relationship with Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, that influences the likelihood of them sticking around in Soldier Field during the construction.

Teams often borrow college or other professional sports fields during the construction of their respective stadiums. The Bears have played at Illinois’ Memorial Field during the respective renovations of Soldier Field in 2003, for example.

But the Bears plan to remain at Soldier Field if and when the construction is completed at the new stadium.

As for Soldier Field’s fate, — if the new stadium is built — it’ll be knocked down, according to the Bears’ plans. In the renderings the team released on Wednesday, the team plans to knock down Soldier Field for 14 acres of green area. They will, however, keep the columns and historical details of the stadium.

“Sports fields and gardens will replace the current stadium, with Soldier Field’s historic colonnades preserved as a tribute to Chicago’s military veterans,” the team said in a release. “An enclosed stadium is essential for Chicago to attract year-round events like the Super Bowl and major concerts—unlocking billions in tourism revenue.”

“As you noticed here, the plan is to keep the historical columns from Soldier Field to make that part of this development to make it one museum campus,” Bears CEO/President Kevin Warren said during a visual presentation of the renderings. “What happens here is the additional open and green space. This will have 14 acres of athletic fields, a recreational park to allow, as I mentioned earlier, for youth to be able to come together and do things in a productive manner.”

Soldier Field earned historical landmark status in 1987 but lost its status in 2006 as a result of renovations made to the stadium in 2003. That means demolition is viable for the stadium, should the Bears earn approval to do so.

Check out the remains of Soldier Field in the new renderings.


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