The Chicago Bears have explored the possibility of leaving their iconic Soldier Field home, but a city committee may have a solution to ensure the team stays put.
The Lakefront Museum Campus Working Group is expected to recommend that Chicago “explore the feasibility” of building a dome atop Soldier Field, the Bears’ home since 1971.
- The project would allow Soldier Field to host major events, including the Super Bowl.
- Estimated costs range from $400 million to $1.5 billion, per Sports Business Journal.
- Plans would include stadium renovations and potentially selling naming rights.
The committee, led by Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot, wants a dome after the Bears signed a purchase agreement in 2021 for the 326-acre Arlington International Racecourse property.
The deal — valued at $197.2 million — would provide a potential site for a new Bears stadium, but it’s roughly 30 miles north of downtown. The Bears have a lease at Soldier Field that runs through 2033, per WGN News.
The team would be forced to pay $84 million to the city if the lease is broken before 2026. The sale of the Arlington site is expected to close between this year and 2023.
Soldier Field, which opened in 1924, has already had extensive renovations.
The facility — owned by the Chicago Park District — underwent renovations between 2001-2003 at a reported cost of $733 million, including $432 million in taxpayer dollars.