Mayor Lightfoot Announces Three Renovation Options at Soldier Field | Chicago Reel

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced proposals for renovations to Soldier Field, a jewel in Chicago’s crown, and our famous lakeside museum campus.

These proposals flow from the considerations and recommendations made by the Mayor’s Museum Campus Working Group.

“An improved Soldier Field will provide a world-class experience for visitors,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “In addition, each of these proposed renovations will ensure Soldier Field maintains its role as an economic engine for Chicago for years to come, as these changes will allow us to continue to bring exciting sports, music and other events to our city.”

Earlier this month, the Museum Campus Task Force released its report, Where Worlds Connect, detailing key insights and recommendations for improving the museum campus. The working group was chaired by Richard Priceexecutive chairman of Mesirow.

“I am delighted to share these proposals for Soldier Field”, said price. “Each of these options has enormous potential to drive Chicago’s economic growth and help make the Museum Campus a year-round global destination.”

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One of the working group’s sub-areas was sports facilities, led by Martin Cabrera, CEO of Cabrera Capital, who understood the focus on Soldier Field’s vision. Over several months, the Sports Facilities subgroup has been meeting with experts to understand the current market, national and international competition from other event venues, and what Soldier Field needs to become a premier visitor experience.

“This team of experts has done an impressive job bringing these three options to life,” says Martin Cabrera, CEO of Cabrera Capital. “Each of the proposals would not only create an exceptional experience for fans and spectators, but would also improve the public amenities of the entire museum campus.”

Led by Landmark Development and its President, Bob Dunn, this team of stadium engineers, designers and financial experts with deep NFL experience not only developed options that maximize Soldier Field’s existing footprint, but also debunked the previously held assumption that Soldier Field cannot be bombed. Options include:

  • Option 1: Completely enclose the stadium by rebuilding the two end areas with columns that can support a domed structure.
  • Option 2: Rebuild the two end areas with columns to prepare the stadium dome.
  • Option 3: Modify Soldier Field to make it a multi-purpose stadium better suited for soccer while improving its flexibility to host major concerts and a range of events.

Significantly, options 1 and 2 make Soldier Field a premier NFL stadium with a tremendous opportunity for the Bears to realize their vision. All options include major programmatic changes and improvements to the lobby space and, most importantly, preserve historic components of Soldier Field, including the colonnades. Although the cost of each option should be refined based on a finalized scope, they are expected to range from $900 million to $2.2 billion, which is significantly less expensive than building one. new stadium. The cost benefit to the Bears of improving Soldier Field versus developing a new stadium at another site is expected to be at least $1 billion to $1.5 billion or more. Additional measures to provide new equipment include:

  • Increase the number of seats from 61,500 seats to 70,000 total seats, including additional fan activation areas.
  • Increase the number of traditional suites from 133 to 140.
  • Add six new Major Clubs and Experience Zones, none of which exist at Soldier Field as it stands today.
  • Quadruple the square footage of food and beverage from 50,000 square feet to 200,000 square feet.
  • Add up to 20 secondary clubs and activation zones.
  • Significantly expand opportunities for major sponsorships and naming rights.
  • Create more flexible event space and versatile venues including up to 4 venues with capacities ranging from 5,000 to 60,000 or more.

“These proposed renovations would dramatically improve the visitor experience for hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans and tourists,” says Jack Lavin, president and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and a member of the museum’s campus task force. “Adding new amenities to Soldier Field for private events and public use will support the museum campus and the entire city of Chicago, and drive revenue and job growth for the small and medium community. medium-sized businesses in our city. »

Soldier Field remains an incredible asset to residents and visitors to the city. Each year, Soldier Field hosts soccer games, soccer games, major concerts, international sporting events, and dozens of other events. All of the proposed renovations will enhance Soldier Field’s ability to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity for Chicago and be a world-class destination for years to come.

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