December 9, 2023
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The Bears are positioned in a new location for their future relocation from downtown Chicago to the suburb of Arlington Heights in order to Construction of a new ‘world-class’ stadium. But Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is suggesting the city make its own renovations to keep the team in town. A mayoral commission has been appointed to recommend Chicago “to explore the feasibility” of adding a dome to Soldier Field, the long-running outdoor Bears stadium, along with other significant updates to the historic venue, for every Crane Chicago Business.

Lightfoot has publicly floated the idea of ​​enclosing Soldier Field before, The last one is in February. But the Lake Front Museum’s campus working group, which was set up to recommend strategic investments for Chicago’s Lakefront landmarks, is now expected to formally propose improvements to Soldier Square. This will include rebuilding parts of the nearly 100-year-old stadium and possibly selling or awarding naming rights to the venue, which has been home to the Bears since 1971.

Meanwhile, the dome will likely require taxpayer contributions, per craneWith estimated costs between $400 million and $1.5 billion. The most recent NFL stadiums to open with a closed roof include the Chargers’ and Rams’ SoFi Stadium in California, which is said to have cost more than $5 billion; and Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium in Nevada, at a cost of approximately $1.9 billion.

The Bears could exit Soldier Field’s lease in 2026, and the team last fall finalized a purchase agreement for Arlington International Racecourse, a 326-acre property in Arlington Heights, with an eye toward building an entirely new complex. Last renovated in 2002, Soldier Field has been an iconic destination among NFL venues due to its history, but it also has the smallest capacity (61,500) of any current stadium. It’s also possible that the Arlington Heights area will give the Bears room to expand their playground into a multi-purpose entertainment complex.

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