At the heart of the proposal is the construction of a domed stadium, which could cost anywhere from $900 million to $2.2 billion.
Lightfoot developed three options for building a dome:
• The first is to enclose the entire stadium by rebuilding both end areas with columns that can support the structure of the dome.
• The second will require rebuilding both end areas with columns to make the stadium’s dome ready.
• The third option calls for modifications to make Soldier Field a multi-purpose stadium suitable for hosting football matches while also making it a viable location to accommodate major concerts and a range of events.
“The improved Soldier Field will provide a world-class experience to the visitor,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “Moreover, any of these proposed renovations will allow Soldier Field to retain its role as an economic engine for Chicago for years to come, as these changes will allow us to continue to bring sports, music, and other exciting events to our city.”
The proposal would also expand seating at Soldier Field from 61,500 to 70,000, increase the number of suites from 133 to 140, and quadruple food and beverage space from 50,000 square feet to 200,000 square feet. The statement also said the proposal would “significantly expand major sponsorship opportunities and naming rights.”
In September, the Bears took a step toward leaving historic Soldier Field when they signed a $197.2 million buy-and-sell agreement with Churchill Downs for their 326-acre Arlington Park property in the Arlington Heights suburb after the circuit, which has hosted thoroughbred racing since 1927. for sale. Arlington Park, located 30 miles northwest of Soldier Field, could be the site of a new stadium for the Bears in the future.
According to a statement from the team earlier this month, the Arlington Park site is the only site the team is considering for a new stadium.
“As part of our mutual agreement with the seller of that property, we are not seeking deals or alternative locations for the stadium, including renovations at Soldier Field, while we are under contract,” the Bears family said in a statement. “We have informed the City of Chicago that we intend to fulfill our contractual obligations while we continue to conduct due diligence and pre-development activities at the Arlington Heights property. In the meantime, we remain committed to implementing our Operating Permit Agreement (POA) at Soldier Field.”
The Bears said Monday that they stood by their earlier statement in response to Lightfoot’s suggestion.