Chicago's Soldier Field adviser details how revamped stadium could be a hub, beat Arlington plan
Prolific stadium builder Bob Dunn, advising the Mayor Lori Lightfoot administration on how to fix Soldier Field to keep the Bears in Chicago, released detailed plans Sunday for transforming the isolated stadium into a year-round commercial and entertainment hub, served by a transit station that would underpin his goal of residential expansion on the Near South Side.
Dunn estimated that his proposal to dome Soldier Field, working within its existing footprint, would save the Bears at least $1 billion over the cost of building from the ground up in Arlington Heights, where the team has a contract to purchase land.
Dunn, president of Landmark Development, said the proposed new Soldier Field and surrounding activity would fatten city tax coffers while giving the Bears and the team's fans a facility that would be among the tops for NFL teams.
His credentials include involvement in MetLife Stadium in New Jersey and every stadium for the Bears' rivals in the NFC North Division.
In an interview, he offered images that promise that Soldier Field's design, which has been likened to a crashed spaceship, could become something thrilling.
"Having built a number of NFL stadiums, having built other sports venues ... having built Lambeau Field, which is consistently ranked as one of the top buildings in all of sports by fans, taking that building and then transforming it to become what it's become, there is not an opportunity in the sports industry in the United States, I would argue, that matches the opportunity here," Dunn said.
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