Mayor Lori Lightfoot announces Soldier Field renovation plans as city tries to keep Chicago Bears

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announces Soldier Field renovation plans as city tries to keep Chicago Bears

CHICAGO (TOC) — Mayor Lori Lightfoot introduced three renovation choices to Soldier Subject as town continues attempting to steer the Bears to remain on the lakefront stadium.

“That is an unimaginable asset, been right here for nearly 100 years,” Lightfoot stated. “A method or one other, we’ve to put money into Soldier Subject.”

The three proposals encompass a domed choice, an open-aired stadium with the choice of including a dome at a later date and an choice to switch the stadium to higher swimsuit soccer competitions whereas bettering lodging for live shows and different occasions.

Lightfoot stated that every one three proposals will hold Soldier Subject as an financial engine for town whatever the Bears’ resolution.

“Any of those renovations will enable Soldier Subject to retain its function as an financial engine for Chicago for years to come back,” Lightfoot stated in a press launch.

19 years in the past, when Soldier Subject underwent its final main renovation, former Mayor Richard Daley rejected the concept of including a dome to the stadium.

Now, the renovation prices are estimated between $900 million to $2.2 billion.

“It is positively costlier to do it this manner than to have accomplished it this manner than a part of the unique (2003 renovation),” stated Jim Pawlikowski, Director of Rex Engineering.

Despite the fact that the worth tag is bigger now than it could have been 19 years in the past, Lightfoot stated the prices of the renovations could be considerably cheaper than constructing a brand new stadium from scratch.

A number of the facilities which might be renovated embody: increasing seating to 70,000 seats, a rise in luxurious suites, quadrupling the meals and beverage footprint and rising the multi-purpose house accessible.

Soldier Subject is at present the smallest capability stadium within the NFL with 61,500 seats.

The renovation plans come because the Chicago Bears think about transferring from Soldier Subject to the location of the previous Arlington Racecourse.

In a press release, the Bears stated “The one potential venture the Chicago Bears are exploring for a brand new stadium improvement is Arlington Park. As a part of our mutual settlement with the vendor of that property, we’re not pursuing different stadium offers or websites, together with renovations to Soldier Subject.”

The Bears are wanting to construct a brand new cutting-edge venue in Arlington Heights which may improve the crew’s revenues in response to some sports activities advertising specialists.

Mayor Lightfoot, nonetheless, is hoping to persuade the crew to remain within the metropolis.

“Politically, it is comprehensible what (Lightfoot’s) doing, nevertheless it’s not going to make any distinction in the long run,” stated Marc Ganis, Managing Director of Sportscorp Ltd.

The mayor beforehand fashioned a committee to take a look at methods to carry extra individuals to the lakefront and Museum Campus.

Full assertion from Mates of the Parks

“Although we participated on the mayor’s working group to reimagine the museum campus, Mates of the Parks is simply seeing the design proposals and listening to about supposedly well-vetted engineering specs for a possible dome on Soldier Subject. We beforehand had let the mayor’s workplace know that we couldn’t come out in help of a dome, solely in help of a feasibility examine. Our place stays the identical because it did upon the discharge of the “The place Worlds Meet” report: we count on that an actual examine of the feasibility of a dome on Soldier Subject will result in the conclusion that it isn’t possible, whether or not due to value, public pushback for quite a lot of causes, and/or authorized limitations to constructing on the lakefront.”

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