Soldier FieldChicago Bears
Soldier Field is an outdoor football stadium home to the Chicago Bears of the NFL and is located in Chicago, IL. Soldier Field opened in 1924 under the name Municipal Grant Park Stadium as a public, multi-purpose sports venue. The stadium's name changed shortly after its opening to Solider Field in order to honor the American military personnel that fought in World War I. The stadium temporarily closed in 2003 in order to complete a much needed renovation process and is the smallest stadium in regards to seating capacity at 61,500 in the NFL.
Soldier Field (formerly Municipal Grant Park Stadium) is located on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, Illinois, and is currently home to the NFL's Chicago Bears. It reopened on September 29, 2003 after a complete rebuild (the second in the stadium's history). With the current stadium capacity of 61,500, Soldier Field became the smallest stadium in the NFL when the Indianapolis Colts moved out of the RCA Dome and into Lucas Oil Stadium in 2008. The former South Park Commission (the Commission merged with 22 other park systems to establish the Chicago Park District in 1934) hired Chicago architects Holibird and Roche in 1919 to design a stadium that would serve as a showcase â€œfor events and a playground for the people.â€ On October 9, 1924, the Grant Park Municipal Stadium premiered and one year later, at the request of the Chicago Gold Star Mothers, the stadium was renamed Soldier Field. The first event held in Soldier Field was a police meet featuring 1,000 police athletes and reportedly drew 90,000 spectators. Crowds in excess of 100,000 became commonplace in the years that followed, marked by several memorable sporting events. The first football game held at the Municipal Grant Park Stadium was Notre Dame (13) v. Northwestern (6) on November 22, 1924. The Chicago Bears began using the facility in September 1971 as a regular season home and capacity was cut to 57,000 to bring season ticket holders closer to the field. Chicago defeats the Pittsburgh Steelers 17-15 before capacity crowd of 55,701 in the Bearsâ€™ first game since moving from Wrigley. In 1978, Solider Field went under its first renovation when the Chicago Park District, along with the Chicago Bears, began to reconstruct the aging stadium with lights, playing surface, locker rooms, and rebuilding the stadiumsâ€™ plank-board style seating with chair back and armrests. The renovations were complete in 1981 and the seating capacity was expanded to 66,950 visitors. In 1971, AstroTurf replaced the grass and in 1988 the playing surface was changed back to grass. In 2001, the Chicago Park District, which owns the structure, faced substantial criticism from the Chicago Tribune when it announced plans to alter the stadium. Proponents, however, argued the renovation was direly needed citing aging and cramped facilities. In 2003, Soldier Field completes a 20-month renovation that modernized the stadium and surrounding parkland for multi-purpose event use. The current design of the stadium, with the Greek style columns being the primary remnant of the older facility, has prompted some fans to refer to the stadium as the "Spaceship on Soldier Field.â€ This is because of how the new stadium bowl rises above and hangs over the columns, which was largely not the case in the older design. Also with the renovation, the front row 50-yard line seats are now only 55 feet away from the sidelines. This was the shortest distance of all NFL stadiums, until New Meadowlands Stadium opened in 2010, with a distance of 46 feet. Soldier Field has hosted rock concerts, thrill shows, rodeos, tractor and truck pulls, circuses, fireworks displays, stock car races, sunrise services, marching band concerts, open-air operas, skiing and toboggan events including a ski jump event from a 13-story platform since its conception in 1924. It hosted the first boxing event that drew a gate of over $2.5 million (Dempsey-Tunney, 1927), the first ski meet held in a stadium, and the all-time largest football crowd (123,000). The largest crowd for any event in Soldier Field was 260,000 on Sept. 8, 1954, for the religious Marian Year Tribute. Solder Field has also had its fair share of tenants since the 1920â€™s which consist of the Chicago Enforcers (XFL) (2001), Chicago Blitz (USFL) (1983â€“1984), Chicago Sting (NASL) (1975â€“1976), Chicago Winds (WFL) (1975), Chicago Fire (WFL) (1974), Chicago Cardinals (NFL) (1959), Chicago Rockets/Hornets (AAFC) (1946â€“1949) and the Chicago Spurs (NPSL) (1967).
- Throughout facility
Surrounding Stadium - General
- 31st Street McCormick Place Lot B and the Adler Planetarium Lots only.
- Throughout facility
- All bags are subject to search
- Permitted. 12x12x12 inches max.
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