LAKE FOREST, IL – The Chicago Bears recently broke ground on a project slated to expand and upgrade their headquarters at Halas Hall. Several exciting functions new to the team have been designed in a series of additions and remodeling. The Halas Hall expansion will enhance the football and business operations while providing new opportunities and experiences for visitors of the team facility.
Within the football operations at Halas Hall, the weight room and training room, which are currently 7,000 square feet, will see an expansion of 1,500 square feet. The locker room will be upgraded with additional and reconfigured lockers and new carpeting. Existing and newly created meeting rooms will feature enhanced technology.
"Upgrading our football facilities will give our players, coaches and personnel staff additional space and new technology to help them prepare during each phase of the football calendar," said Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips. "We will continue to provide our team the resources needed to compete for championships."
A new event center will be built off the south end of the existing building. The state-of-the-art addition will include a 4,000-square foot broadcast studio and conference space that can host approximately 150 people for both events and original programming. The two-level entryway to the event center will feature interactive digital displays, video monitors and memorabilia, including some never before featured pieces of Chicago Bears history. A new press conference room and a relocated media courtyard will also be a part of the facility along with increased work space for media members.
"The new event center provides a unique opportunity to grow our business through a variety of assets on the Halas Hall campus," Phillips said. "We believe this will be an attractive place to entertain guests, build new Bears events and expand our team content offerings across multiple mediums to our loyal fans throughout the year. Competition within the sports and entertainment world remains intense and continues to evolve. Our challenge is to find ways to bring partners and fans closer to our product. Creating innovative and one-of-a-kind experiences for our key constituents is vital to our success. The event center will allow us to showcase the Bears in new and improved ways for the foreseeable future."
The team will also be adding a practice viewing suite to the second level of Halas Hall. The 40-person suite will overlook all four of the team's practice fields and feature many of the amenities of game suites at Soldier Field.
A new kitchen and dining facility, including an outdoor patio, will be built with the ability to hold 100 people. Additional conference room and staff offices will be added throughout Halas Hall, which originally opened in March of 1997. The Bears headquarters will also see a new entry into the main lobby and 105 additional parking spaces. The practice fields and the Walter Payton Center will not be impacted.
The architect for the project, which will increase the current 100,000-square foot facility in excess of 30,000 square feet, is Richard Preves and Associates and the contractor is Mortenson Construction. Planning for the project has taken place over the course of the past year and is scheduled to be finished by August 1st before the team returns from training camp.
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