Back when they were talking about re-doing Soldier Field, we all knew that they should have placed it way out in the far western suburbs, preferably the northwest. I suggested the site of the old Poplar Creek Music Theater. Big site, easily able to create massive lanes of on/off access to I-90, and a mammoth amount of property within which to put a gigantic tailgating lot. Like this one.
Isn’t that nice?
Have you ever been to Miller Park? Great access, huge tailgating lot, tons of bathrooms, huge concourses. I am not saying that the exit out of a baseball game is instantaneous from Miller Park and have never been to the Arrowhead Stadium complex above. But either are light years ahead of what we have now at Soldier Field. Shame on Chicago. I bet people from other cities laugh at our “game day experience”.
For whatever reason, be it graft, or whatever, the ugly new Soldier Field was kept in the same place it was since the original construction over three quarters of a century ago.
The reason I am talking about this is because starting next football season, things around Soldier Field are going to get…interesting…due to the construction of the Star Wars Museum on the South Lot.
I got a letter from Ted Phillips the other day and here it is.
Since the design and location of The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art were unveiled, we have worked with the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District to ensure your voice was heard and your game day experience was enhanced. As you may have recently heard, we have reached an agreement with the City and Park District to bring added benefits to game days. As of today, here is what we can share:
– There will be no changes during the 2015 season.
– Upon the project’s completion, we will have more parking (estimated 1300
additional) and more tailgating (estimated 200 additional) spaces than currently
exist on the museum campus. The experience will be different, as the south lot will no longer exist, but we have ensured the great tradition of tailgating will continue on the lakefront.
– A new parking garage will be built on the west side of Lake Shore Drive at 18th Street with tailgating spots on the top level.
– The construction timeline is estimated at three years with a projected start in spring of 2016.
– During construction, we have established parking on Northerly Island and additional satellite parking sites to replace the south lot spaces. They will include
Grant Park, south of McCormick Place at 31st Street and the Michael Reese site. These lots will include free shuttles for fans who utilize them on game days. We anticipate the 2016 season will be the first impacted by the project. Details regarding how parking coupons will be allocated to these lots are still being determined.
– We are working with the City and Park District on traffic studies to identify the best ways to bring people on and off the museum campus both during construction and after completion of the project.
– We have new marketing revenue opportunities which will be directly invested into future improvements at Soldier Field to further enhance your game day experience.
While we have secured important fan amenities, there is still work to be done. We have stressed to the City and Park District from the beginning, Bears Season Ticket Holders remain our priority. We understand there are many more questions that will arise throughout this process. As we learn more details as it relates to your experience, we will continue to communicate with you. Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips will be joining Jeff Joniak tonight from 6:30-7:30 PM on WBBM 780 for the Chicago Bears Coaches Show to discuss the Lucas Museum project among other topics on Bears football.
Our Ticket Sales & Service staff is also available for questions at (847) 615-BEAR. We appreciate your patience during this project. Our goal remains to deliver the best fan experience to you.
Thank you and Go Bears!
Chicago Bears Ticket Sales & Service
Oh boy wouldn’t that be great to be tailgating SOUTH of McCormick place and take a shuttle to the game? You might as well tailgate in Kankakee. And Northerly Island? You will have to leave at the end of the third quarter to have any realistic shot of leaving by 6pm on a noon start. Those are just for starters.
Carl and I agree that this will be a complete and total disaster, and that likely the only thing to get done from this list is that they destroy the South Lot.