(CBS) Several weeks after Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel said he was exploring the addition of 5,000 seats at Soldier Field, Bears president Ted Phillips told the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday that there are currently no plans for such expansion.
“First of all, we are always open to listening to any ideas to improve Soldier Field,” Phillips said at the NFL owners’ meetings, according to the Sun-Times. “We talk to the Park District and general superintendent Mike Kelly all the time. We’re always trying to find ways to improve the experience and see what we can do. But currently there are no plans. There are no plans being developed. So we’re just going to kind of take things as we go and see what comes out of it. But there are no current plans.”
A major impetus for expanding Soldier Field would be to enhance its chances to host a Super Bowl. Soldier Field’s capacity is currently 61,500, one of the smallest in the NFL. The league’s preference is for Super Bowls to be contested at stadiums with a capacity of at least 70,000.
The Bears have said they’d be “open to the idea” of increasing capacity “if it made sense.” Emanuel has emphasized he would like to attract “high-profile” events like the Super Bowl.