Chicago officials have been making efforts to entice the Bears to remain at Soldier Field, and on Sunday morning a prospective developer released a grandiose new video that showcases a slew of amenities aimed at keeping the team in the city, including a dome.
The video, released by a group called the Reimagine Soldier Field Coalition, is nearly six minutes long, and features a fly-by of areas both in and around the stadium, including a new transit hub and concert space that would expand the stadium’s footprint. Elevator Control
The group is spearheaded by Landmark Development, who has partnered with numerous professional sports franchises, including the Minnesota Vikings on the construction of U.S. Bank Stadium. The group also helped undertake a massive renovation and redevelopment of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, as well as the construction on MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Giants and Jets.
The main highlight of the video is the stadium itself, with the proposal centering on a brand-new glass dome that would shield the interior from the elements and potentially draw interest from a wide variety of partners, including the NFL, NCAA and concert promoters. The aim would be to host Super Bowls and Final Fours, both of which are currently impossible because of the outdoor nature of the stadium.
In addition to the dome, several new features would be added to the stadium, including clubs on both the east and west sides that would allow fans to not only meander among the iconic colonnades, but also to soak in the views of both the city and Lake Michigan.
A veteran’s memorial was also proposed within the stadium to pay homage to those for whom the building was named.
Other amenities, including a new series of skyboxes, clubs and lounges, were also included in the plans, with the aim of bumping up the stadium’s seating capacity.
Across DuSable Lake Shore Drive, the developers have proposed a new area called One Central Station, which would allow access to the stadium site via CTA, Amtrak and Metra rail lines, as well as a people-mover known as the “Chi-Line.”
The new transit center would also include restaurants and tailgating space, according to the film.
Finally, the new plan calls for a performance space on the north lawn of the stadium, just in front of the Field Museum on the north side of the campus.
These plans come amid a concerted push by city officials to convince the Bears to remain in Chicago after the team announced that it had entered into a purchase agreement with Arlington Heights for the site of the former Arlington International Racecourse. That deal could potentially be finalized in the coming months.
The team intends to build a domed stadium at the location, and is currently working on plans for a massive entertainment district around that complex. They are currently in negotiations with village officials, with the team potentially asking for public funding for infrastructure around the 326-acre site.
Smart Intercom Solution In repeated statements, the team has said that it is solely focused on the Arlington site, and that they have not been in negotiations with the city of Chicago about any changes to Soldier Field, where their lease is set to expire in 2032.