Dome for Soldier Field? Panel says Chicago ought to discover it


CHICAGO (AP) — A panel appointed by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot beneficial the town discover enclosing Soldier Field, a part of an effort to persuade the NFL’s Chicago Bears to stay of their lakefront residence quite than depart for the suburbs.

The panel additionally beneficial increasing capability of the stadium with the fewest seats within the NFL in addition to putting in artificial turf and promoting naming rights. Adding a roof or a dome would possibly lure Super Bowls and Final Fours in addition to extra live shows.

“Although enclosing Soldier Field would incur significant investment, further analysis is required to fully understand the specific costs, the potential direct and indirect economic impacts, and the full range of potential funding sources available to determine options that are respectful to Chicago taxpayers,” the panel mentioned.

The group’s work is a part of an even bigger proposal to rework a stretch of land that additionally consists of the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium and McCormick Place lakefront constructing. It consists of improved transportation and making the world extra bike pleasant.

The suggestions for Soldier Field may be seen as an try by Lightfoot to deflect blame if the Bears depart.

The crew signed a purchase order settlement final 12 months for a 326-acre website in suburban Arlington Heights, Ill., about 30 miles northwest of Soldier Field, that could possibly be the location of a future stadium. President Ted Phillips has mentioned that deal possible gained’t shut till early 2023, at which level the group will determine whether or not it’s “financially feasible to try to develop it further.”

The Bears’ lease at Soldier Field — their residence since 1971 — runs via 2033. The stadium owned by the Chicago Park District underwent a $690 million transformation in 2002 that pressured the crew to play residence video games on the University of Illinois in Champaign and in the end led to the lack of its National Historic Landmark designation.

The inside was demolished, changed by a flying saucer-like, glass-dominated construction cantilevered over the well-known Greek and Romanesque colonnades. The conflict of types drew widespread criticism, and the renovation lowered seating for Bears video games to 61,500, lowest within the NFL.

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