Chicago considers a dome on Soldier Field

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As the Bears push toward the possibility of moving to a new stadium in Arlington Heights, Chicago pushes toward the possibility of making their current home more attractive.

Via Sports Business Journal, a Chicago mayoral committee will recommend that the city consider the feasibility of putting a dome over Soldier Field.

A dome, as reported by Crain’s Chicago Business, could cost between $400 million and $1.5 billion.

Other possibilities include upgrades to the stadium (including significant rebuilding of certain parts of it) and selling naming rights to generate revenue for improvements.

The Bears have entered into a purchase agreement for land in Arlington Heights, but the deal isn’t expected to close until next year. It’s a long-term play, and it’s ultimately a dance between a team that wants a better venue and a city that doesn’t want to pay for all or most of it.

It’s fundamentally a leverage play, with the Bears using the possibility of building their own stadium as the “or else” if Chicago doesn’t make things significantly better at Soldier Field. There’s also a political angle to this; the powers-that-be in Chicago won’t want to be blamed if the Bears bolt for the suburbs. If Chicago politicians make an offer that the Bears refuse, the politicians can point a finger at the team for not wanting to make things work at Soldier Field.

35 responses to “Chicago considers a dome on Soldier Field

  1. Wow. Just wow. What an enormous money-grabbing mistake.

    At least make it a retractable roof. To think a founding member of the NFL would go to a dome.

    My goodness. The greed.

  2. Which only solves for weather. Not the small capacity, ridiculous traffic and lack of parking, or risking life and limb in downtown Chicago especially for night games. Move ’em out to the suburbs and be done with it.

  3. They will be taking away one of the very few advantages they have, November & December weather.

  4. The only thing Chicago should do is address their gun and politics problems. Chicago is a dumpster fire!

  5. chickensalad43 says:
    July 6, 2022 at 11:17 am
    Chicago wants to host Super Bowls, and this is the only way to do
    01Rate This


    False. NY got a sb.

    And, there is a retractable roof option as well. So, no, it’s not the “only” way.

  6. Yes go ahead and put a dome on every stadium, it will make the NFL one step closer to arena league football which is fitting considering the rules are already trending in that direction!

  7. Terrible idea. Just move to Arlington Heights. Been going to Bears games since they played at Wrigley and that was a more enjoyable experience. Soldier Field still sucks and the Chicago Park District is horrible at maintaining the field.

  8. This would leave Green Bay as the only real football team left in the NFC North.

  9. @bassplucker, how many metro lines run right to Grant Park / Soldier Field? If it’s parking and traffic, city has the 2nd best metro system in the US

  10. The first reconstruction sucked, and I suspect the second would be even suckier, provided it is even feasible.

  11. The Bears need a new stadium. What good would putting a dome on the current stadium do? Build a new stadium!!!

  12. grgo8985 says:
    July 6, 2022 at 12:13 pm

    @bassplucker, how many metro lines run right to Grant Park / Soldier Field? If it’s parking and traffic, city has the 2nd best metro system in the US



    Taking the elevated train is a very long walk and taking the Metra train is even longer. Getting to Soldier Field is not easy by any means, even parking and traffic sucks.

  13. First, lights at Wrigley Field… and now a dome at Soldier Field? Some things should stay the same. Change isn’t always a plus.

  14. Thats a lot of money for a band-aid solution. Just build the new one and be done with it. No taxpayer bail outs for billionaires!

  15. No…football was meant to be played outside, especially at an iconic place like Soldier Field.

  16. The city should let the Bears go to Arlington Heights. The tax revenue from tickets will never cover the cost of rebuilding Soldier Field.

  17. I don’t know. You would need owner approval and there is no way Rodgers would sign off on it.

  18. I’m not surprised a ridiculous idea came out of the Chicago mayor’s office.

  19. Being a Viking fan my advice is don’t do that. I really like our new stadium but it would be better open.

  20. When I see the Bears in Chicago, I see a classic old stadium that resembles the greats like Halas, Sayers, Butkus et al. They would do well to build a stadium that reflects their past greatness and use brick and columns and seat 65,000. Why is one of the most storied NFL franchises struggling to do the right thing?

  21. Not a good investment of taxpayer dollars. If the Bears can afford a new stadium they can afford to refurbish Soldier Field. The new stadium will have to be replaced in 25 years anyway.

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