Chicago proposes to construct a dome over Soldier Area, Bears nonetheless say no

The town of Chicago proposed main renovations Monday to Soldier Area, which embody constructing a dome, to maintain the Bears within the metropolis for the foreseeable future. 

Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot gave three choices for the Bears in the event that they’d prefer to construct a dome on Soldier Area, which might value between $900 million to $2.2 billion, ESPN reported. The primary two choices would require the stadium to be rebuilt at each finish zones to both absolutely enclose the stadium with a dome or construct it with columns to assist a dome construction. The third choice would make Soldier Area a multi-purpose venue that would host a number of sports activities and different occasions, similar to live shows. 

The proposal would additionally enhance the variety of seats (61,500 to 70,000) and suites (133 to 140).

Regardless of the town of Chicago’s proposal to replace Soldier Area, the Bears are standing by a press release made earlier in July that they are solely contemplating the Arlington Park web site they purchased land as the one place they’re pursuing as a stadium deal web site. 

“As a part of our mutual settlement with the vendor of that property, we’re not pursuing various stadium offers or websites, together with renovations to Soldier Area, whereas we’re underneath contract,” the Bears stated within the assertion. “We’ve got knowledgeable the Metropolis of Chicago that we intend to honor our contractual commitments as we proceed our due diligence and predevelopment actions on the Arlington Heights property. Within the meantime, we stay dedicated to fulfilling our Allow Working Settlement (POA) at Soldier Area.”

The Bears made a $197.2 million buy and sale settlement with Churchill Downs Inc. in September 2021 for the 326-acre Arlington Park property in Arlington Heights. The acquisition of the land, which is over 30 miles north of Soldier Area, raised the menace that the Bears may depart the town of Chicago and the stadium they’ve referred to as dwelling for all however one season since 1971.

Lightfoot is hoping the proposed modifications are sufficient to maintain the Bears in Chicago.

“An improved Soldier Area will ship a world-class customer expertise,” Lightfoot stated in a press release. “Moreover, any of those proposed renovations will permit Soldier Area to retain its position as an financial engine for Chicago for years to come back, as these modifications will permit us to maintain bringing sports activities, music and different thrilling occasions to our metropolis.”

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