Reimagined Pics of Renovated Soldier Field Campus Set Bears Twitter Off

Soldier Field

Getty A general view of the exterior of Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot has made no secret about her desire to keep the Chicago Bears around.

A self-proclaimed Bears fan, Lightfoot has spoken on multiple occasions about ways the city can maximize the campus area around Soldier Field, with enhancing the fan experience and enticing the team to stick around listed as two of the primary reasons for doing so.

After purchasing the Arlington International Racecourse property in 2021, the Bears have moved forward with their plans to explore building a new stadium there, which includes hiring Manica Architecture to help with plans to design it.

Not to be outdone, Lightfoot is also discussing putting a dome atop Soldier Field.

Greg Hinz of Crane’s Chicago Business reported on July 5 that the city of Chicago is set to  “‘explore the feasibility’ of putting a dome atop Soldier Field in an effort to make the stadium more attractive to potential users, including the Chicago Bears.”

But the Bears are seemingly already on the way out — and based on early Twitter reactions to images of a reimagined Soldier Field campus area, it doesn’t look as though fans are excited about much of it.

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A Dome on Soldier Field?

Soldier Field opened in 1924, and the Bears have been playing their home games there since 1971. The city of Chicago recently released a 51-page report detailing changes it would like to make to the stadium and surrounding area, and they’re significant.

“Soldier Field’s usable concourse should be expanded within the current footprint through creative designs that produce unique experiences for stadium visitors,” the report states, also noting the incorporation of “augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) programming” is desirable.

The report also notes that “updating the stadium’s current seating configuration is imperative,” and adding a dome is also mentioned:

“Although an enclosed venue is unlikely to attract many more major concerts due to limited touring windows among other reasons, it would negate inconsistent weather conditions and allow Chicago to host coveted one-off events such as the Super Bowl and the NCAA Final Four Championship,” the report states, also noting it would be beneficial to replace the stadium’s current natural grass with artificial turf, in order to make the space more usable.

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Twitter Reacts to Pics of Reimagined Soldier Field Campus

Rendered images of what a transformed Soldier Field campus and surrounding area could look like with a few proposed changes made the rounds on Twitter courtesy of Crane’s Danny Ecker, and the response from Bears Nation was lukewarm at best.

CHGO insider Adam Hoge noted he didn’t see much in the images that would entice the Bears to stay:

Many were wondering where the proposed dome was in the rendered pics:

While others, including 670 The Score’s Chris Emma, noted it was likely too little, too late for Lightfoot and company to keep the team in Chicago:

Lightfoot also shared the pics of a reimagined campus, and some noted the city used an image from the worst game of QB Justin Fields’ rookie season, in which he was sacked nine times against the Cleveland Browns:

Others just had jokes and made fun observations:

While the city’s report made it clear these renovations are meant to make the stadium more user-friendly year-round and aren’t entirely all about keeping the Bears around, it doesn’t look like keeping the team there is going to be an option, regardless.

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