Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

Amtrak, Metra and CTA Transit Hub, ‘Chi-Line’ Part of ‘Reimagined’ Soldier Field Proposed by Developer – NBC Chicago

A translucent dome, a concert space, food halls and a slew of new skyboxes and suites aren’t the only things included in a new video that shows how proposed, grand renovations to Soldier Field could “reimagine” the stadium and surrounding space.

Also included is an ambitious solution to one of the biggest pain points that die-hard Bears season ticket holders, fair weather fans and visitors all share: transportation.

Although Soldier Field’s iconic lakefront stadium has breathtaking views, it’s location is widely known as one that remains inconvenient to access.

If you aren’t a season ticket holder, parking at a nearby garage — which requires the use of a shuttle to the front entrance — runs approximately $42. The nearest CTA stop (Roosevelt) is about a mile from the stadium, with patrons forced to walk through a maze around Columbus Avenue and the Museum Campus.

The walk itself takes approximately 25 minutes.

Once fans do arrive at the stadium, they’re directed into only a handful gates on the north side of the stadium, creating long lines of ticket holders.

But according to a video from a group called the “Reimagine Soldier Field Coalition,” that’s where something called “One Central Station” comes in. The grandiose, six-minute video, part of a proposal to entice the Chicago Bears to remain in the city ​​rather than heading to the suburbs, features a fly-by of areas both in and around a reimagined stadium, pinpointing several “trends” that would allow Soldier Field to become “the stadium of the future.”

One of those trends the video says is “Regional Transit Access.”

The proposed transit-oriented hub, dubbed “One Central Station,” would bring together “all modes of regional transit,” including the CTA, Metra and Amtrak, the video says. The hub would also include a “people mover” called the “Chi-Line,” which the video describes as a “circulator system in a safe and secure pedestrian environment on par with the very best international transit stations.”

Video and photos of the proposed transit hub shows escalators from a train and bus station leading guests up to a giant “entertainment district,” with food halls, a tailgating space, giant screens and more.

“Upon arrival,” the video says, “you ascend on the most dynamic entertainment district anywhere in the globe.”

According to a press release, the “Reimagine Soldier Field Coalition” is spearheaded by Landmark Development, who has partnered with numerous professional sports franchises, including the Minnesota Vikings on the construction of US Bank Stadium. The group also helped undertake a massive renovation and redevelopment of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, as well as the construction on MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Giants and Jets.

While the main highlight of the video is the stadium itself — with the proposal centering on a brand-new glass dome that would shield the interior from the elements and potentially draw interest from a wide variety of partners — at least one community group has criticized the transit portion of the proposal, calling it a “figure of a private developer’s imagination.”

“This is nothing more than a brash repackaging of [Landmark Development Bob Dunn’s] pitch for a state taxpayer bailout of his proposed One Central development,” said the One Community group: Near South in a statement. “We can’t allow a private developer to profit at taxpayers’ expense. State lawmakers have already approved $6.5 billion for this private development on top of the $631.15 million still owed for the existing Soldier Field. It’s time to stop this train.”

“What he calls a ‘civic build’ is really a civic bilk,” the group goes on to say, “a transportation center that none of the transit agencies asked for or have in their future plans.”

According to a report from the Chicago Sun-Times, Bob Dunn is an advisor to Lori Lightfoot’s administration.

What Else the “Reimagined” Soldier Field Video Includes

In addition to the dome, several new features would be added to the stadium, including clubs on both the east and west sides that would allow fans to not only meander among the iconic colonnades, but also to soak in the views of both the city and Lake Michigan.

A veteran’s memorial was also proposed within the stadium to pay homage to those for whom the building was named.

Other amenities, including a new series of skyboxes, clubs and lounges, were also included in the plans, with the aim of bumping up the stadium’s seating capacity.

Finally, the new plan calls for a performance space on the north lawn of the stadium, just in front of the Field Museum on the north side of the campus.

These plans come amid a concerted push by city officials to convince the Bears to remain in Chicago after the team announced that it had entered into a purchase agreement with Arlington Heights for the site of the former Arlington International Racecourse. That deal could potentially be finalized in the coming months.

The team intends to build a domed stadium at the location, and is currently working on plans for a massive entertainment district around that complex. They are currently in negotiations with village officials, with the team potentially asking for public funding for infrastructure around the 326-acre site.

In repeated statements, the team has said that it is solely focused on the Arlington site, and that they have not been in negotiations with the city of Chicago about any changes to Soldier Field, where their lease is set to expire in 2032.

The Chicago Bears’ potential move to Arlington Heights became closer to reality this week as the village board approved a pre-development plan for the massive project.

Comments are closed.