Chicago is famous for a lot of things. It’s the windy city where Ferris Bueller serenaded a nation with “Danke Schoen,” the home of both deep dish pizza and the most loyal MLB fans in the country, and the birthplace of beloved actors Robin Williams and Harrison Ford. But if you’re in Chicago on a Sunday afternoon between September and February, you might forget all of this and think of Chicago only as home of the Bears. When the lights go down and the Colonnades are lit up, it’s time for a stay at Soldier Field.
At A Glance:
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Who: Soldier Field is home to the Chicago Bears.
Where: Soldier Field is located in the Near South Side of Chicago, IL.
Soldier Field opened in 1924 as Municipal Grant Park Stadium. The name change to Soldier Field happened on November 11, 1925 as a tribute to all the soldiers who had died in battle. Over the years, Soldier Field has served as the home of several different sports teams including the Chicago Cardinals (NFL), the University of Notre Dame football team, and the Chicago Fire (MLS). Soldier Field was the oldest stadium in the NFL until the LA Rams started playing (temporarily) at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which was built in 1923.
The stadium cost a whopping $13 million in construction; compare that Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which cost less than $1 million the year prior. The high cost came partially from the unique architectural design, which included massive columns, similar to those found in Greek ruins. These columns (Colonnades) have never been removed in any of the renovations to the field, including the largest renovation, which happened in 2002.
Soldier Field has hosted The Special Olympics, countless hockey and soccer games, and concerts from such notable stars as Johnny Cash and Barbra Streisand.
- The first International Special Olympics Summer Games were held at Soldier Field on July 19th and 20th of 1968.
- In a major renovation in 2002, Soldier Field’s interior was mostly demolished. This caused the stadium to be delisted as a National Historical Landmark.
- In its earliest configuration, Soldier Field was built in a U-shape and could hold more than 100,000 patrons.
- The Chicago Bears moved to Soldier Field in September of 1971.
- In 2004, Soldier Field received an award in design excellence from the American Institute of Architects.
- The New York Times ranked Soldier Field as one of the five best new buildings of 2003.
At just 61,500 seats, Soldier Field is one of the smallest stadiums in the NFL, but that doesn’t mean those 61,500 seats aren’t comfortable! Soldier Field boasts some of the finest amenities and amazing sightlines in the NFL.
Soldier Field’s 133 suites are located on the east side of the stadium. Each suite package includes between 12-40 tickets, as well as four parking passes and access to the premium level amenities. Each suite has a private attendant to respond to requests and deliver delicious concessions before, during, and after the game. They also contain full size refrigerators, coat racks, and padded “captain’s” chairs.
Food & Drinks:
Come to Soldier Field hungry because there is plenty to satisfy your cravings here. Fan favorites include the predictable (and welcome) deep dish pizza, hot dogs and beer. But for something different, try chef Jimmy Bannos Jr.’s new Purple Pig gyro. If you’re starving, opt for the Chicago Combo Stak (deep dish Chicago style nachos). Concessions at Soldier Field are run by Aramark, so items from big-name chefs are always on the menu.
What To Do When You Visit:
Take a Tour: Tours of Soldier Field stop at the South Courtyard, the Doughboy Statue, the visiting team’s locker room, a skyline suite, and the Colonnades.
Host an Event: Locals can rent indoor and outdoor spaces at Soldier Field for corporate events, charity auctions, trade shows, weddings, and other gatherings.
Tailgate: Located in the Adler Planetarium parking lot, the designated tailgating area is a playground for adults. The area is fenced in and can hold approximately 100 people.
- If you’re planning on taking mass transit to the game, you can use the RTA website to plan your trip. The closest stop is the Roosevelt station on the orange, green, and red lines.
- If you’re taking I-55, take the Stevenson Expressway northbound to Lake Shore Drive/Highway 41 North. Then take LSD north to the 18th Drive exit.
- If you’re driving from I-290, take the Eisenhower Expressway exit and follow this route east to Congress Parkway. Take Congress Parkway to Columbus Drive. Turn right and take Columbus Drive south to the 18th Drive exit.
- If you’re driving from I-90/94, take the Dan Ryan Expressway north to the Lake Shore Drive/22nd street exit. Stay to the right and exit to LSD. Take LSD/Highway 41 north to the 18th Drive exit.
- If you’re driving from I-94, take the Kennedy Expressway south to the Congress Parkway exit. Follow Congress Parkway to Columbus Drive. Turn right on Columbus Drive and follow Columbus south to the 18th Drive exit.
- Parking is available for all games and events. RV, bus, and camper parking is also available on a first come, first served basis.
Want to catch all of the Bears games in comfort and style? Contact Seat Valet today to learn how you can get a personal seat license from Soldier Field to get up close and personal with the Chicago Bears.