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Soldier Field columns to stay in Bears' new lakefront stadium design

Soldier Field columns to stay in Bears' new lakefront stadium design originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Bears unveiled their plans for a new stadium along Chicago's lakefront in a press conference on Wednesday. They also released renderings, showing their physical outlay for the museum/lakefront campus.

Soldier Field, which has been constructed and standing for nearly 100 years, is absent from the renderings. The historic columns, which are part of the architecture that "pays homage to the men and women who valiantly served the country," according to Landmarks Illinois, remain in the renderings.

"Sports fields and gardens will replace the current stadium, with Soldier Field’s historic colonnades preserved as a tribute to Chicago’s military veterans," the team said in a release. "An enclosed stadium is essential for Chicago to attract year-round events like the Super Bowl and major concerts—unlocking billions in tourism revenue."

"As you noticed here, the plan is to keep the historical columns from Soldier Field to make that part of this development to make it one museum campus," Bears CEO/President Kevin Warren said during a visual presentation of the renderings. "What happens here is the additional open and green space. This will have 14 acres of athletic fields, a recreational park to allow, as I mentioned earlier, for youth to be able to come together and do things in a productive manner."

As for the transition to the new stadium, Warren said the Bears will play at Soldier Field until the construction of the new stadium is complete for them to play in.

"One of the things that makes the project unique is that we would be able to continue to play at Soldier Field during the construction and then to be able to move into the new stadium once the construction is finalized," Warren said. "So yes, we would be able to continue to play here and not have to move to a different location."

Soldier Field earned historical landmark status in 1987 but lost its status in 2006 as a result of renovations made to the stadium in 2003. Check out the remains of Soldier Field in the new renderings.

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