Soldier Field Can Be at Full Capacity Starting in the Preseason (And Halas Hall Could Host Fans at Training Camp)

The NFL’s path to a return to its normalcy gained some clarity on Tuesday.

Bring on stadiums packed with fans hootin’ and hollerin’:

Thirty of 32 teams now have clearance to operate at full capacity, reports Tom Pelissero. And, yes, among those teams is the Chicago Bears. The Colts and Broncos are the only two teams who haven’t been given full clearance to this point. All in all, this is good news for the league, its teams, fans who have been itching to attend games, and players who miss performing in front of fans. After all, we’re talking about an entertainment industry here, my friends.

In case you’re curious, the Bears’ preseason slate features two home games. As is a stipulation in the current 17-game schedule, teams playing nine road games in the regular season will get two preseason home games. Should the league stick with a 17-game schedule in 2022, Soldier Field will play host to a ninth home game, but only one preseason bout. And did I mention one of Chicago’s preseason home games will feature Mitchell Trubisky’s return with his new team? Because I feel as if that’s something I should point out.

But wait .. there’s more:

Well, it certainly is encouraging to read news that fans can return to training camp this summer.

At least, it would be if the Bears were still hosting training camp in Bourbonnais.

If you’ll recall, the Bears moved training camp practices out of Bourbonnais after 18 years of being gracious hosts. The announcement, made in January 2020, came well before the COVID-19 pandemic fully changed the landscape here in the United States. At the time, Bears President/CEO Ted Phillips said: “We will host training camp practices at Halas Hall in 2020, while maintaining a public component to many of the sessions to incorporate our loyal and passionate fans.” In other words, the Bears were planning to have fans at Halas Hall at training camp last year. But because a global pandemic had other ideas, those plans never came to fruition.

This now leaves me curious as to how Chicago’s football team will make good on its prior promise. Not to mention how many open practices Halas Hall will host, how tickets will become available and issued, and if there will be a cost component.

There are plenty of questions, to be sure. But for now, I suppose the good news is that things are opening back up in the NFL world. So maybe I’ll just take this good news for what it is now, then figure out the rest later.

written by

Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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