Expand Soldier Field, But Not For A Super Bowl

Lions vs BearsToday’s column from CBS Chicago

(CBS) Since its massive overhaul back in 2002, Soldier Field has never really made much sense.

Inexplicably, it is one of the NFL’s smallest stadiums (capacity: 61,500) despite its location in the NFL’s second-largest market (9.52 million metro area population). It doesn’t have a retractable roof even though it resides along a notoriously cold lakefront. And while I’m now accustomed to the look, the whole spaceship-inside-the-Parthenon thing is still an odd design.

Yes, Soldier Field may not be perfect. But with Chicago committed to funding its bond payments through 2032, it very much is ours.

And it’s not going anywhere.

Although, according to reports this week, it could soon be going up in capacity. On Tuesday, news broke that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is in the “very preliminary” stages of looking at a 5,000-seat expansion of the home of the Chicago Bears.

“It’s an exploration to see what, if anything, is possible,” Emanuel spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton told the Chicago Tribune.

If expansion indeed is possible for the stadium, I think it would be a great thing for Chicago and for Bears fans. But I don’t think it would be a “Super” thing, which apparently is what the city is hoping.

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