The Chicago Bears may well be on their way out of Chicago’s city limits and, in turn, out of historic Soldier Field. The 61,500 capacity stadium is by far the oldest in the NFL, having opened in 1924. It’s also the smallest in the NFL, nearly 2,000 seats smaller than University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona.
Those are just two of the reasons the team is looking to move to the Arlington Heights suburb of Chicago despite pushback from the city, which is doing everything it can to keep the team.
Now, in a last-ditch effort, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has come up with an insane plan to keep the Bears in the city.
JUST IN: Mayor Lori Lightfoot offered Monday to put a dome on Soldier Field, at a potential cost of $2.2 billion, in a desperate attempt to keep the Bears in Chicago or save face if they leave for Arlington Heights. https://t.co/qsJRpXfqZ0
— Chicago Sun-Times (@Suntimes) July 25, 2022
The Chicago Sun Times is reporting that Lightfoot wants to spend $2.2 billion of public money to put a dome on the stadium. The paper also reports that part of the project would be funded by selling naming rights to Soldier Field, yet retaining the “Solider” part of the name that indicates it’s a war memorial.
🧵It will also make Soldier Field a top-tier NFL stadium with tremendous opportunity for the Bears to fulfill their vision. pic.twitter.com/axdy9PeyNg
— Archived: Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot (@mayorlightfoot) July 25, 2022
“We are making a compelling case for the Bears to stay in Chicago,” Lightfoot said. They want a Tier One stadium to maximize revenues and we agree.”
Adding a dome solves issues regarding weather, but noy the stadium’s capacity. Lightfoot also produced two other options. The first was a new stadium without a dome. The second, a renovation of the historic stadium.
Chicago Bears Fans Don’t Love The New Idea
Fans aren’t sold on any of the proposed ideas, particularly with the dome.
Any further renovations to Soldier Field and it’s no longer historic Soldier Field. I love the history of it as much as any Chicagoan, but the only renovation left for the purpose of an NFL stadium is a wrecking ball. https://t.co/KoXv34Og14
— Mark Potash (@MarkPotash) July 25, 2022
— functional moron (@MoronFunctional) July 25, 2022
Is putting a dome on Soldier Field supposed to be viewed as a *good* thing? https://t.co/ebykYgCDpQ
— Yaya Dubin (@JADubin5) July 25, 2022
the bears playing indoors would be a catastrophe https://t.co/AMPQjyiN34
— Robby Kalland (@RKalland) July 25, 2022
The Chicago Bears appear to be leaving the city, whether Lightfoot likes or not.