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OMG the Bears going to drop Arl Hts!

Talk about misfiring. They spent $250 million to buy that land. Ouch.

Soldier Field welcomes new Bears season as team pursues stadium options


Justin Kaufmann, Axios News

What's happening: It's been a rough offseason for the stadium, which has been maligned in debates over the Bears' potential move to Arlington Heights.

Context: Soldier Field is the oldest stadium in the NFL. The Bears still have several seasons under contract, but they have made it clear they want to build their own stadium with a larger seating capacity, more parking and the availability to host major events like the Super Bowl.

In The Athletic's new ranking of the best NFL stadiums, Soldier Field ranked 23rd on the list. Three years ago, The Athletic ranked it 7th.

Yes, but: According to another study, Bears fans still want to come to Soldier Field. It looks at the price of tickets on the secondary market, and the Bears rank 7th in the NFL, with fans shelling out $380 per ticket.

Zoom out: With all the talk of leaving Soldier Field behind, Bears staffers say they're focusing on the here and now.

They spent the offseason trying to improve everything from concessions to security procedures, especially after last month's shooting at a White Sox game.

What they're saying: "We take security very seriously," Lee Twarling, Bears SVP of customer relations, tells Axios, "from our bag policy to what can be brought through the magnetometer."

The intrigue: It's not just the security. The team is analyzing the entire fan experience.

"There's nothing worse than coming to a game, getting up to go to the restroom and coming back to realize you missed a good chunk of the game," says Twarling. "So we collect and analyze data on where people are moving, why they're moving there, how they're getting to different spots and dissect it to improve the fan experience."

Of note: Bears officials are also warning fans to get to the stadium early today to avoid traffic headaches related to Taste of Chicago.

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