Today is being treated like one of those days when you tell yourself “I need a vacation to recover from my vacation.” But that isn’t stopping me from delivering today’s Bullets.
- I usually close Vegas trips with an aqua massage, with the idea being that I want to get right before I get home. It’s usually the literal last thing I do before I head to the airport. But I wanted to buck tradition and instead chose to take the Allegiant Stadium tour. When in
RomeVegas, right? And because the folks who designed the Raiders’ new stadium are being consulted for the Bears’ Arlington Heights project, I thought it would be worth a shot. And it was. It’s just that I could really go for that massage now that I’m home.
- If the Bears’ next stadium is anything like that Raiders’ joint, then it will be a crown jewel of the league. That Raiders stadium has so many bells and whistles, many of which I hope the Bears copycat if they end up using Allegiant Stadium as a jump-off point. For instance, it uses a natural grass for NFL games and field turf for college football (UNLV’s preference, apparently) that gets rolled into the stadium on a tray. The roof isn’t retractable (I mean, who would want to play in an open-air stadium in the middle of the desert) but the ETFE roof gives the stadium a real-sunlight feel without the 120-degree Vegas experience. You can read more about this different style of roof here. There are celebrity chefs in club levels, DJs, and all sorts of Raiders-inspired art throughout the stadium. There is a real Vegas feel to that place. And I hope Chicago’s next big stadium project captures everything wonderful about the city and franchise.
- I was surprised to hear the stadium packs only 65,000. On the one hand, that feels on the smaller side of things. After all, Soldier Field’s capacity is just 61,500. But on the other hand, I wonder if that will be a coming trend in new stadiums. Having a place that sits 100,000 sounds neat until 30,000 no-shows on a game day makes the place look cavernous. Moving forward, a team like the Bears that is set to make its own stadium will have to decide on whether they value having more seats (perhaps coming with a lesser ticket cost, but comes with the potential to max out based on volume of people in attendance) or fewer seats (which would likely result in higher prices because supply and demand being what they are, but maybe comes with a better game-day experience).
- The player amenities were neat. State-of-the-art locker rooms (plural, because it hosts the Raiders and UNLV football, plus the world-famous Raiderettes get their own locker room). Heck, the practice squad locker room is pretty nifty, too. I can imagine players on opposing teams being envious of this facility.
- As for the fan experience, I can’t wholly speak to that because it wasn’t a game day. Although, a certain segment of Bears fans can speak on it from personal experience. But I can say it doesn’t look like there is a bad seat in the house. The views are nice, concourses are spacious while not giving off vibes like you’re walking through a cave. Food and drink options are the ideal mix of stadium food, but with Vegas flare. Again … it would be sweet if the Bears’ next stadium took its food and beverage options to another level. There is so much that can be done in this regard.
- But, for now (and the next few years), this is the home of the Bears:
- From top-to-bottom, this is an uninspiring list:
- HOWEVA, it should make for some fun camp-watching this summer. Nothing like watching players on one-year “prove it” deals duking it out to make the cut. The biggest such example is in the receivers room, where Tajae Sharpe, Equanimeous St. Brown, David Moore, and Dante Pettis are likely battling for two (three?) roster spots. There figures to be an odd-man out here, right? Oof. That tight ends room doesn’t give me much to latch onto, but at least it isn’t some focal point that the coach is obsessed with getting right (while doing the minimum to try to find it). Long story, short: This collection of talent — much of it on one-year deals — isn’t much to write home about, but will hopefully reveal some usable depth that could turn one-year contracts into a multi-year stay if their play merits it.
- Oh, joy. Two Bears opponents are on this list, including one team they play twice:
- Lions don’t concern themselves with the opinions of sheep … or dudes who are rostered in less than 20% of Yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues. But some Red Sox pitcher called Wrigley Field an “underwhelming” and “stock standard” ballpark.
- NHL Draft prospect watch continues at BN Blackhawks:
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