Chicago Bears to invest over $2 billion to build new stadium near Soldier Field, reversing plans to move from city center

CNNThe Chicago Bears have announced that they will begin plans to build a new stadium near their current home of Soldier Field, a change from their original plans of moving to a location further outside of the city.

“The Chicago Bears are committed to contributing over $2 billion to build a stadium and improve open spaces for all families, fans and the general public to enjoy in the City of Chicago,” the team said in a statement to CNN on Monday.

“The future stadium of the Chicago Bears will bring a transformative opportunity to our region – boosting the economy, creating jobs, facilitating mega events and generating millions in tax revenue. We look forward to sharing more information when our plans are finalized.”

Sources familiar with the plan told CNN affiliate WLS that the team is investing private money to build a publicly-owned domed stadium on the lakefront to the south of where Soldier Field stands.

Remaining near the city center will make Chicago a more viable host for future Super Bowls given its transport infrastructure.

The decision comes after speculation the Bears were considering building a new stadium further outside the city center following its acquisition of 326 acres of property in Arlington Heights last year.


Sources told WLS that the new project would increase open space by nearly 20% and include all-season free and accessible plazas, paths and landscaped planted areas with access to the lakefront so that it could be a year-round community asset for everyone to enjoy.

“I have said all along that meaningful private investment and a strong emphasis on public benefit are my requirements for public-private partnerships in our city. The Chicago Bears plans are a welcome step in that direction and a testament to Chicago’s economic vitality,” Chicago mayor Brandon Johnson said in a statement.

“I look forward to subsequent talks with the Bears, State leadership and community stakeholders about how we can continue to responsibly support the aspirations of the team, its fans and all residents of the City of Chicago.”

Soldier Field opened in 1924 and first hosted Bears games in 1971 after the team moved from Wrigley Field. In 2003, the stadium reopened after 20 months of renovations to modernize the area.

It has a capacity of 63,500 and is also the home of Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire.