One of the oldest stadiums still in operation in North America, Soldier Field has grown and changed multiple times since it opened in 1924 near Downtown Chicago.
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Stadium Guide by Football Tripper USA
|Address:||1410 Museum Campus Dr, Chicago, Illinois, 60605|
|Stadium Owner:||Chicago Park District|
|Former Names:||Municipal Grant Park Stadium|
|Architect:||Holabird & Roche, Wood + Zapata, Inc., Lohan Caprile Goettsch Architects|
|Construction Cost:||$13 million|
|Structural Engineer:||Thornton Tomasetti|
|Playing Surface:||Kentucky Bluegrass|
Originally shaped in a “U” with open space for seating and promenades above the North endzone, 74,280 fans could watch the various franchises in the emerging National Football League and see some of the biggest college games of the era. It wasn’t until the Bears left Wrigley Field in 1971 that Soldier Field had a steady tenant.
Soldier Field saw significant renovations as part of a project in 2002 attempt to host the Olympic Games. The goal was to demolish the inside for new styles of stadium seating while the outside was preserved. It was an international trend around the turn of the millennium called facadism and was used in places like Leipzig, Germany and Canberra, Australia.
The update was controversial, with many citizens from Chicago and nearby areas fighting against the move. Radio pundits led petition drives to stop what they called “a flying saucer landing on top of Soldier Field” or Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin dubbing the stadium the “eyesore on the lake shore”. Other groups fought the financial expenses while others fought for the historical significance of the stadium.
The restoration project won and the inside of the building was demolished. It came with limited critical praise, with a very basic design excellence award by the American Institute of Architects in 2004. But later that year, the National Park Service removed Soldier Field from the National Historic Landmark registry by a unanimous recommendation from a federal advisory committee.
Turf problems plagued the stadium after the 2002 interior renovations, as the dirt content after the renovations were not compatible with the Kentucky Bluegrass turf and the cold Midwestern winters. The result led to multiple injuries and turf problems before the dirt foundation below the turf was deepened and heated similar to Foxboro’s Gilette Stadium.
Soccer has a consistent home in Soldier Field. The stadium hosted two World Cups (men’s 1994, women’s 1999), six CONCACAF Gold Cups and the Copa America Centenario in 2016. It hosted one of the largest American audiences for soccer in 1928 in the National Challenge Cup between New York and Chicago. It also hosted some of the largest rugby audiences in American history, one of the original urban hosts of the United States ski jumping championship and a mainstay of the Special Olympics.
Concerts are also common at Soldier Field, with the first one played in 1937. Those were a part of the Chicagoland Music Festival, so crowd size for original concerts were not collected. Given how large the greater Chicago area is, multiple concerts are for many dates, with crowds often larger than 95,000.
Soldier Field sits in the famed Museum Campus of the city’s Grant Park neighborhood — a 57-acre park alongside Lake Michigan that hosts many landmark attractions, like the Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum of Natural History.
Chicago Bears Info
|Rivals:||Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles|
|Team Colours:||Navy Blue, Burnt Orange, White|
|Club Mascot:||Staley Da Bear|
|Fight Song:||Bear Down, Chicago Bears|
|Team Owner:||Virginia Halas McCaskey|
|Top Passing Leader:||Jay Cutle|
|Top Rushing Leader:||Walter Payton|
|Top Points Scorer:||Robbie Gould|
|AV Leader:||Walter Payton|
|Winningest Coach:||George Halas|
|Famous Players:||Dick Butkus, Walter Payton, Gale Sayers, Brian Urlacher, Mike Singletary|
|Famous Coaches:||Mike Ditka, Ron Rivera, Marc Trestman|
Visiting the Stadium - Travel
Frequently Asked Questions
Who plays at Soldier Field?
Chicago Bears play their home matches at Soldier Field.
What is the capacity of Soldier Field?
As of 2021 Soldier Field has an official seating capacity of 61,500 for Football matches.
When was Soldier Field opened?
Soldier Field officially opened in 1924 and is home to Chicago Bears
What is the ZIP code for Soldier Field?
The ZIP code for Soldier Field is 60605.
Are there any Covid restrictions at the stadium?
Covid Restrictions may be in place when you visit Soldier Field in 2021. Please visit the official website of Chicago Bears for full information on changes due to the Coronavirus.