By Adam Hoge-
(CBS) The Bears have already broken ground on a renovation project that will expand and upgrade Halas Hall, their nearly 16-year old practice facility in Lake Forest.
According to the team, the 30,000 square-foot expansion of the Bears’ headquarters “will enhance the football and business operations while providing new opportunities and experiences for visitors of the team facility.” The project is slated to be completed by Aug. 1, before the team returns from training camp in Bourbonnais.
The scheduled football upgrades include a 1,500 square-foot expansion of the weight room and training room, additional lockers and new carpeting in the locker room, as well as new meeting rooms with 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,” Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips said in a statement Monday. “We will continue to provide our team the resources needed to compete for championships.”
The largest part of the project is a new event center that will be built off the south end of the existing building. It will include a 4,000-square foot broadcast studio and conference space that the team says will be able to host 150 people.
“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 event center will also feature a new press conference room and increased work space for the media.
Other additions include a 40-person practice viewing suite, a new kitchen and dining facility, additional staff offices and conference room, a new entry way into the main lobby and additional parking spaces.
The current practice fields and Walter Payton Center will not be impacted by the renovation.
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