Earlier this month, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the city would explore expanding Soldier Field with an eye toward a future Super Bowl bid.
Upping the capacity of Soldier Field, which currently seats 61,500 people for football games, would likely be a necessary hurdle as the league prefers stadiums that seat at least 70,000 fans for the game. Bears chairman George McCaskey and president Ted Phillips said last week that the Bears weren’t prioritizing an expansion of the stadium for a Super Bowl bid, which would also require a temperature waiver from the league, and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn also cast doubt on more seats for Soldier Field and the Super Bowl bid.
“It’s just not realistic … We have serious financial challenges,” Quinn said on WGWG, via the Chicago Tribune. “Changing Soldier Field, making it bigger? It just ain’t gonna work.”
Even if Chicago could overcome concerns about often nasty winter weather, the seating capacity at Soldier Field was going to be a stumbling block. Given the apparent lack of enthusiasm from the Bears and the state for such a project, a Chicago Super Bowl seems like an unlikely event to pencil into the calendar.