Soldier Field

Soldier Field boasts a 66,000+ seating capacity. It is conveniently located on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, Illinois and is presently home to the Chicago Bears of the NFL.

Soldier Field was considered as a National Historic Landmark but only for two years since the extent of the renovations was so immense that the committee felt that it would lower the standards of designating historic landmarks across the country. Nevertheless, Soldier Field remains one of the most loved NFL stadiums due to its stylishly modern yet classical architectural design.

Soldier Field was actually one of the oldest stadiums in the NFL. In fact, it was built to honor the World War 1 veterans who fought courageously for our country, and plans for a new stadium were underway in 1919. But it would be three years after, in 1922 that construction started on Soldier Field and it would be another 5 years to entirely complete the stadium. Soldier Field was initially named Municipal Grant Park Stadium on the 9th of October 1924. But a year later, it was changed to Soldier Field and officially dedicated on the 11th of November 1925.

Soldier Field was originally in the shape of a U and its classic style is reminiscent of the Greco-Roman stadiums of ancient times. The parallel west and east sides of the stadium has a systole colonnade and in which each systole colonnade was bordered with tetrastyle temples and created utilizing double rows of 32 columns.

Originally, the seating capacity of Soldier Field exceeded 70,000+ but was reduced to 60,000+ so that spectators could watch the events more closely. Events held at Soldier Field range from football, to concerts, to bike racing, to car racing and the biggest crowd ever to grace the stadium was on the 8th of September, 1954 for the Marian Year Tribute of the Catholic Church. An estimated 260,000 people came to the stadium to celebrate the event.

The Chicago Bears officially made Soldier Field their home on the 19th of September when they played their first game ever in the stadium. This was the time when the 70,000+ capacity was reduced to a mere 50,000+ so fans can watch the game more visibly and follow each and every move their favorites made. Renovations to further better the stadium were undertaken from 1971 to 2003. Seating was refurbished and added, the grass on the field was replaced and new equipment was installed. It was in 2000 however that the biggest renovation took place with a budget of over $365 million.

To retain the classic charm of the Soldier Field, they didn’t touch the historic columns to serve as a reminder of the stadium’s majestic past. Seating was once again increased plus VIP seats, with the addition of gigantic video boards for those sitting in the back. A 250 foot sculpture made of granite stands as a memorial to the brave people who served in the war.

Parking can be a hassle when big events are being held especially when the Bears are playing so be sure to remember these: they open the parking lots 4 hours before a Bears game and buses and other recreational vehicles can park in the Adler Planetarium Lot for $85 on a first come first served basis. Daily rates range from $8 to $15 but will be increased when special events are taking place.

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