City of Chicago to renovate Solaire Field with $2.2 billion
The city on the beaches of Lake Michigan has said it would spend $2.2 billion in stadium repairs to keep the Chicago Bears NFL club.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has proposed plans to turn Solaire Field into a covered stadium, updating the Bears and MLS soccer team Chicago Fire’s existing home.
We must enhance the circumstances for the spectators at Solyer Field by investing in the stadium. And that is precisely our objective,” stated Mayor Lightfoot.
In recent years, there have been rumors that the Bears may relocate to a new stadium in the Chicago neighborhood of Arlington Heights to replace the defunct Arlington Park track, which will shut in 2021.
The Bears struck a deal to acquire the site for $200 million last September, and they engaged an architectural company to design the stadium in March.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the franchise’s Soldier Field contract continues until 2033, although it may be terminated in 2026 by paying $84 million in penalties.
Since 1971, the Chicago Bears have played at Soldier Field. It is the NFL’s smallest stadium, with a capacity of 61,500.