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Field Museum Looks To Hike Prices, Second Bump In 2 Years

By David Matthews | September 11, 2017 1:08pm | Updated on September 11, 2017 3:29pm
 The Field Museum is asking for a price increase beginning in 2018.
The Field Museum is asking for a price increase beginning in 2018.
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DNAinfo/David Matthews

DOWNTOWN — The Field Museum is looking to increase its admission fees by $2 a ticket, its second price hike in two years.

The natural history museum at 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive will ask Chicago Park District officials Wednesday to approve the higher admission fees. Adult Chicagoans would pay $18 beginning Jan. 1, up from $16 now. Adult nonresidents would pay $24, up from $22. 

The price hikes, including some for children and senior citizens, amount to 9 percent to 22 percent above current prices.

The new request arrives as the Field Museum prepares to debut a 28-foot titanosaur cast replacing Sue the T.rex in its entrance hall next year, among other changes. 

If approved, the higher admission fees would kick in Jan. 1, two years after the museum raised prices at the start of 2016. 

It cost $13 for Chicago adults and $18 for nonresidents before the 2016 price hike. 

The Field Museum will say in its presentation Wednesday to the Park District Board of Commissioners that the new fees are necessary "to stabilize the museum’s financial position and build capacity."

"The Field Museum is an invaluable resource to the people of Chicago," museum officials wrote in documents submitted to the Park District. "Increased admission fees will help allow the museum to continue to provide world-class experiences for guests of all ages."

The museum — known for its longtime mummies and dinosaurs exhibits — said it has cut staff in recent years. Like other lakefront museums, the Field Museum hosts 52 free days annually, which the museum says costs $5.6 million in potential income. The museum said it employs 130 scientists who conduct original research.

The Field Museum's request is subject to the Park District board because the museum sits on park land. The board recently signed off on price increases for other Downtown museums, including the Art Institute and Shedd Aquarium.

Children under 3 years old would still get in free, parks documents show. Chicago children 3-11 would pay $15, up from $13 now. Chicago senior citizens, 65 years and older, would pay $11, up from $9 now.

Nonresident children ages 3-11 would pay $21, up from $19 now. Nonresident seniors would pay $17, up from $15 now.

The Park District board will hear the Field Museum's request during its meeting starting at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at 541 N. Fairbanks Court. 

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