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Surround Soldier Field and sell its naming rights to keep the Bears in Chicago – Reading Eagle

Mayor Lori Lightfoot should change the name of Soldier Field to raise money and consider “exploring the feasibility” of surrounding the stadium with a dome or roof.

Panel work is to maintain the Chicago Bears exploring the possibility of moving to Arlington Heights, distract criticism if a venerable sports team leaves, and improve the range of land, including the Adler Planetarium and the field. Shows Lightfoot’s attempt to identify potential ways of museums, Shedd Aquariums, and buildings on the shores of Lake McCormick Place.

The Lightfoot panel recommends turning Solidarity Drive into a square all year round, creating educational programs for children, and adding large-scale art to revitalize the campus. For museum campuses, the report recommends improving CTA services, adding trolleys, and improving traffic around the area. Many of the ideas in the report can run into financial or political challenges as officials wait for the Bears to make a decision and organize the next steps.

“Our beloved Museum Campus is an important part of the city and requires special attention and attention,” Wrightfoot said in a statement. “The Museum Campus Working Group has guided the work and provided a useful framework for strengthening the entire (campus).”

Lightfoot emphasizes the emphasis on the wider Museum Campus, but the most notable are the recommendations from the Soldier Field report.

“In order to make better use of Soldier Field all year round, the city must also explore the feasibility of surrounding the stadium. From May to December, Soldier Field is vibrant and highly utilized. The venue. During this period, the stadium is estimated to accommodate 96,000-240,000 people each month. However, from January to April, when the weather limits the use of the stadium’s outdoor area, the arena usage is much higher. There will be less, “says the panel.

“During these cold seasons, the stadium’s spectators are estimated to range from 1,200 to 66,800 per month. Closed venues have limited tour windows, for other reasons as well. It’s unlikely to attract more major concerts, but it denies inconsistent weather conditions and Chicago hosts the coveted one-off events such as the Super Bowl and the NCAA Final for Championship. make it possible.

However, the report has not yet recommended a roof. “To fully understand the specific costs, potential direct and indirect economic implications, and the full range of potential sources of funding available to determine options to respect Chicago taxpayers. Needs further analysis. “

Please note that the city should consider a sponsorship agreement with the Soldier Field naming rights dedicated to soldiers in the 1920s. Sponsorship deals at other stadiums, including SoFi Stadium in California and MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, have each resulted in $ 400 million, the Panel said. Other arenas, such as the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, maintain the name “Soldier Field” and show that it can continue to respect its heritage as a homage to American soldiers while at the same time generating income. ..

Bears has been playing in Soldier Field since moving from Wrigley Field in 1971. Playing at the Champaign Memorial Stadium during the 2002 season, Soldier Field made a $ 690 million refurbishment. The stadium, owned by the Chicago Park District, has the smallest NFL capacity of 61,500 fans. Compared to the new soccer stadium, it is difficult to reach and can be outdated.

The Bear signed purchase contract Due to the Arlington International Racecourse last fall, it will not close until later this year at the earliest. Although not a closed deal, Bears’ interest in Arlington Heights has sparked a fierce debate about whether Chicago should try to maintain the team and at what cost. One of the benefits of moving to Arlington Heights is the ability to develop 326 acres of land around the stadium with shopping, dining and entertainment.

She tries to determine if it’s possible to keep the team in Chicago, but the mayor also offers a positive plan to dispel loss of income and public fame, the future after Bears on the shores of the lake. You need to be prepared for when they leave.

Other recommendations include “carefully assessing” future options for Lakeside Center, which is part of the McCormick Place Center where the city and other agencies are facing “delays and significant maintenance requirements.” Includes suggestions to do. However, attempts to modernize the facility are likely to be costly, and the 51-page report generally does not deal with financing.

The panel also recommends implementing a free or low-cost trolley, citing a program that was run in Chicago in the early 2000s but was discontinued in 2009 when federal and corporate funds were depleted. .. It’s unclear how a similar program can avoid the same fate, but the report states that “it should eventually grow to be self-reliant through income from campus-specific sources of income.”

Another suggestion is to create a pedestrian bridge leading to Northerly Island.

“At the 1933-34th Century World’s Fair on both sides of Burnham Harbor, the island was connected to the mainland by three bridges, one for today’s Solidarity Drive and one for 16th Avenue. The other is at the southern tip, on the peninsula. ” “In this spirit, the Working Group recommends creating a new pedestrian bridge to connect Northerly Island to latitudes of about 16 or 18 or the southern tip of the peninsula.”

However, further research is needed and there are logistical challenges in order to recommend the most appropriate design and accommodate existing boats and access to Lake Michigan in the port.

Other proposals deal with transportation to campus and Soldier Field, but this can be a real challenge. Proposals include improvements to CTA bus services and other infrastructure changes.

As a next step, the Task Force is a stakeholder coordinating body for Lightfoot to work with park districts, campus museums, city departments, etc. to “promote the implementation of the recommendations outlined in this report.” It is recommended to establish.

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Surround Soldier Field and sell its naming rights to keep the Bears in Chicago – Reading Eagle

Source link Surround Soldier Field and sell its naming rights to keep the Bears in Chicago – Reading Eagle

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