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Bears president Ted Phillips says there are no current plans to expand Soldier Field
ORLANDO, Fla. — Earlier this month, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that the Chicago Park District was exploring the possibility of expanding Soldier Field by 5,000 seats.
The extra seats, of course, would immensely improve the city’s chances of hosting a Super Bowl in the future.
But on Monday, Bears president Ted Phillips told the Sun-Times that right now there aren’t any plans in place to expand Soldier Field, which has the smallest seating capacity in the NFL.
“First of all, we are always open to listening to any ideas to improve Soldier Field,” Phillips said at the NFL owners meetings. “We talk to the Park District and general superintendent Mike Kelly all the time. We’re always trying to find ways to improve the experience and see what we can do. But currently there are no plans. There are no plans being developed. So we’re just going to kind of take things as we go and see what comes out of it. But there are no current plans.”
Emanuel hasn’t hid his desire to host the Super Bowl. After New York and New Jersey hosted Super Bowl XLVIII, there’s been plenty of interest from cold-weather teams with outdoors stadiums.
Phillips said Chicago would be “a great city” for the Super Bowl. But a lot has to be done before they even become an option.
“They have all the amenities to handle an event like that,” Phillips said of Chicago, “[but] whether or not that becomes something in the future, it’s way too premature.”
At the moment, the only upgrades in the works for Soldier Field deal with its concessions.
“We’re talking to Aramark, our concession company, about improvements,” Phillips said. “We did some last year and we’re continuing to work with them and the Park District on some of those improvements.”