Fans clamor for Chicago Bears practicing at Vernon Hills High
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Young Chicago Bears fans lined fences around Rust-Oleum Field at Vernon Hills High School to clamor for autographs Wednesday evening from the pro players who were having a preseason practice there.
It was part of the team's "Varsity Bears" outreach program.
The Bears held similar events in 2016 at Warren Township High School in Gurnee and last year at Prospect High School in Mount Prospect.
While the Bears took over Rust-Oleum, the high school players headed to the Walter Payton Center at Halas Hall for practice.
The Bears arrived in uniform -- or at least practice uniforms -- from 6 to 8:50 p.m. Fireworks were to follow the practice.
Tickets were gone a long time ago and the village anticipated a busy locale.
"We're comfortable we can get 5,000 people in the venue," Police Chief Patrick Kreis predicted a few months ago.
American Hotel Register on Milwaukee Avenue got in the community spirit by releasing employees early and allowed parking at its 1,000-space lot. That was combined with 500 spaces at the high school and 150 spaces behind the stadium.