Chicago Bears reveal plans for $4.2 billion new stadium

Digital render of Chicago Bears' proposed new Burnham Park stadium Digital render of Chicago Bears’ proposed new Burnham Park stadium (Image courtesy of Chicago Bears)

The NFL’s Chicago Bears have revealed plans for a new stadium that could see $4.2 billion of direct capital investment in what they claimed would be one of the region’s biggest-ever construction projects.

The new fixed-roof stadium along Chicago’s lakefront, called Burnham Park, would replace the ageing Soldier Field. It would sit within 14 acres of athletic fields and recreational park space for use by public and youth sports programs.

The plan also features a three-acre promenade and plaza area, which could include year-round food and beverage outlets, retail shops, and a cultural attraction focused on sports and Soldier Field history.

In addition to hosting sporting events, including Super Bowls, the stadium would also serve as a concert venue for entertainment acts.

Chicago Bears claimed the project would create 43,000 regional construction jobs.

The plan also involves the easing of traffic circulation in the area via:

  • Improved ramps and interchanges at 18th Street.
  • A new parking deck built on an existing surface lot.
  • Improved access to DuSable Lake Shore Drive via a new overpass, relocation of a Lake Shore Drive exit and new ramps to the campus.
  • A new lower level for McFetridge Drive.

The infrastructure plan for the project is split into three phases. Phase 1 consists of requirements to open the stadium including transportation, roadways and utilities, and would cost an estimated $325 million. Phase 2 would maximize the stadium and surrounding campus, cost $510 million and include a bus depot expansion, new parks and playfields. Phase 3 would further enhance the campus, cost $665 million and consist of additional transportation improvements, retail and public attractions.

The Bears are aiming to break ground in the summer of 2025, with a planned grand opening in the summer of 2028.

The Bears have pledged to contribute more than $2 billion to the project – over 70% of the total stadium cost. The remaining stadium funds are proposed to come from the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority (ISFA), a government entity created by the Illinois General Assembly in 1987 for the purpose of constructing and renovating sports stadiums for professional teams in the state of Illinois.

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Andy Brown Editor, Editorial, UK - Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786224 E-mail: [email protected]
Neil Gerrard Senior Editor, Editorial, UK - Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 7355 092 771 E-mail: [email protected]
Catrin Jones Deputy Editor, Editorial, UK – Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 791 2298 133 E-mail: [email protected]
Eleanor Shefford Brand Manager Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786 236 E-mail: [email protected]