CHICAGO — The Chicago Bears plan to give Soldier Field a minor makeover that could add seats and a new Miller Lite party deck by November, DNAinfo Chicago has learned.
The proposed stadium changes are connected to the Bears partnership agreement with Miller Lite, which calls for adding about 150 seats - three rows - and building a new premium party spot with standing room for 90 more fans in the south end zone, sources said.
The new Miller Lite fan deck, which will offer a better view of the field and higher-end amenities, is set to replace the existing party deck in the north end zone, sources said.
Last week, the Bears sales staff started calling season ticket holders with seats near sections 323, 324 and 325 that could be affected by the changes. The plan calls for a separate entrance to the party deck and installing a fence between the new seats and other ticketed areas, sources said.
That means changes for the fans who hold tickets nearby.
“It sucks,” season ticket holder Andy Buchanan said. “When we found out we were really disappointed. What we really like about those seats is that there’s a nice view of the lake and the South Loop and McCormick Place, and now it’s going to be blocked."
The Bears’ stadium agreement allows the team to make improvements to Soldier Field with Chicago Park District approval. So far, the park board has not considered the changes.
The Bears have yet to apply for building permits required before construction can begin, a Chicago buildings department spokesman said.
On Thursday, Soldier Field’s south end showed no signs of construction.
Neither the Bears nor the Chicago Park District would comment on the project.
Buchanan said the Bears offered him the opportunity to keep his seats or move to a more expensive part of the stadium.
“One spot was closer to the field, but it was over $100 a game. The Bears already raise their prices almost every year and we pay more then 80 bucks a seat already.”
Buchanan hasn’t decided whether to keep his seats or not, but he does have a question.
“Are people in the corporate seats going to get their own bathroom?” he said. “Right now there’s one men’s room for the entire south end zone and it’s already awful.”