SOUTH LOOP — If Friends of the Parks is jumping up and down over the Lucas Museum being scuttled in Chicago, the Bears are smiling broadly.
Well, maybe they're woofing a little, too.
The Bears still stand to benefit from the parking deal they signed in November with the Park District, giving them the right to set parking rates on game days for the 4,450 spaces they control.
The Bears negotiated a deal giving them the rights to set parking rates based on the turbulence the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art was going to cause to their parking plans. According to Bears spokesman Jim Christman on Friday, after it was announced that George Lucas was looking elsewhere to locate his museum, there are "no changes with our agreement with the Park District."
The departure of the Lucas Museum for greener, less litigious pastures means the Bears get all the benefits they negotiated and none of the hassle of construction and shifting around of parking lots.
The Bears already were going ahead with a lottery this year for the 1,500 parking spaces on the South Lot, the one-time destination for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.
Fortunately for fans, the parking price remain $49 a game and $506.50 for a full 10-game season package, including an administration fee. The Bears pocket game day parking payments, and pay the Park District $1 million a year in exchange for leasing the lots.
According to mayoral spokeswoman Shannon Breymaier, the departure of the Lucas Museum also puts off plans for a Soldier Field parking garage to be built west of Lake Shore Drive. The Bears were pledged rooftop spots on the garage for tailgating to make up for the loss of the South Lot if the Lucas Museum had gone forward.
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