Why Iowa Fans of this Pro Sports Team Say Bear Down and Stay Put
In a last-ditch effort to keep the Bears from leaving the iconic Soldier Field in Chicago proper, to set up shop in a new stadium in suburban Arlington Heights, the city's mayor Lori Lightfoot has issued a proposition: let's attach a dome.
According to CBS Sports:
A mayoral committee is set to recommend Chicago "explore the feasibility" of adding a dome to Soldier Field, the Bears' longtime open-air stadium, along with other significant updates to the historic venue, per Crain's Chicago Business.
Despite being a lifelong Bears fan, I've never actually been to Soldier Field for a game. I know I am not getting any younger, so I should probably make it happen soon. It's a bucket list item, so that might make me biased but, it's kind of like Lambeau Field in Green Bay, the home of our rival Packers. The atmosphere when you walk into either place is said to be part of the mystique, part of the charm is the intimidation factor for opponents (although it hasn't worked quite as well for the Bears as the Packers. The statistical misery is also part of the magic). They are steeped in tradition.
A dome on Soldier Field would cost the taxpayers almost $1.5 billion. It has the smallest capacity of any stadium in the NFL, but who cares? You don't need to be like other teams such as the Rams, Chargers and Raiders who have all recently built new state-of the-art massive stadiums to hold 6 million fans. Luck of the draw of getting a ticket to get in just adds to the "mystique". Past players like Gale Sayers and Walter Payton made it worth the admission price and worth maintaining their legacy in the place they built.
So, in closing: Bear down, stay put and ditch the dome. But, alas, the purchase agreement is signed and the team looks to be moving as early as 2026. Another report says they would consider staying in Soldier Field, but selling the naming rights. Sweetness is rolling over in his grave.