Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois is famous for being the Home of the Chicago Bears. This multipurpose stadium can be found on the south side of Chicago, and it has gone through a number of different names during its lifetime.
The Chicago Bears were founded in 1920, making them one of the oldest teams in the NFL. They currently play in the NFC North Division, and Soldier Field has been their full-time home since 1971.
However, the Bears have played select games at Soldier Field since 1926, making both the Bears and Soldier Field some of the oldest teams and stadiums in the NFL.
How Many Seats Are In Soldier Field?
Soldier Field has a total capacity of 61,500. This is small in comparison to some of the other stadiums used by NFL teams, and Soldier Field is actually the second-smallest stadium actively used in the NFL.
However, the capacity at Soldier Field has grown over the years. When the stadium opened in 1924, it had a capacity of only 45,000.
Over the years, this capacity has grown, and in 2003 renovation work saw the stadium increase its capacity to its largest amount – 61,500.
Soldier Field is one of the oldest stadiums in the NFL, and this partly contributes to why the capacity is so small in comparison to newer, larger stadiums.
Directions – How To Get To Soldier Field
Due to its location in south Chicago, Soldier Field is surprisingly easy to find if you are traveling there by car. There are 4 main routes that you might take to get to Soldier Field, here they are.
Driving From I-94
Take the I-94 (Kennedy Expressway) south all the way to the Congress Parkway Exit, and exit here. Then follow Congress Parkway to Columbus Driveway.
Once you reach here, take a right onto Columbus Drive and then follow this road south to the 18th Drive exit. From here, follow the signs for Soldier Field.
Driving From I-290
Take the I-290 (Eisenhower Expressway) east to Congress Parkway, then exit. Follow Congress Parkway onto Columbus Drive. Turn right, then take this road south until you reach the 18th drive exit. Then follow the signs for Soldier Field.
Driving From I90/94
Take I 90/94 (Dan Ryan Expressway) north until you reach the Lake Shore Drive/22nd Street exit. Stay to the right and exit to Lake Shore Drive.
Follow this road north until you reach the 18th drive exit. Leave the road here, then follow the signs for Soldier Field.
Driving From I-55
Take I-55 (Stevenson Expressway) northbound until you reach Lake Shore Drive/Highway 41 North. Exit, and take Lake Shore Drive north until you reach the 18th drive exit. Follow the signs to Soldier Field.
Where To Park Near Soldier Field
If you are driving to Soldier Field, then you will need to park your car somewhere while you watch the bears.
Soldier Field itself does have a number of parking garages, so if you want to park near the stadium, this is a good place to choose. However, these spaces do fill up quickly, so you will need to get there early.
Alternatively, you should consider parking at Millennium Park or Grant Park Garages. These parking garages are a little further afield, but they do offer outstanding rates for game days, and the spaces tend to be more readily available than those closer to Soldier Field.
In addition, the fact that these parking garages are a little further away doesn’t really matter.
This is because both Millennium and Grant Park garages run shuttle services to and from Soldier Field, which is why these garages are such a great place to park.
Other Soldier Field Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do They Call It Soldier Field In Chicago?
Soldier Field in Chicago was originally called Municipal Grant Park Stadium. However, the stadium only held this name for the first year that it was open (1924-25).
In 1925, the decision was made to rename the stadium “Soldier Field” in dedication to all the soldiers who lost their lives, and represented the USA during the first World War.
Since 1925, the stadium has been known as Soldier Field, and there has been no discussion of changing the name of this stadium during this time.
When Did The Chicago Bears Start Playing At Soldier Field?
The Chicago Bears are a historic team in the NFL, and Soldier Field is a historic stadium. So, it really is no surprise that the Bears have been playing at Soldier Field for a very long time.
The Bears have played select charity matches at Soldier Field dating back as far as 1926. However, the stadium officially became home of the Chicago Bears in 1971.
Initially this deal was only supposed to last for 3 years, but over time the deal has been extended and extended, which is why Soldier Field is still the home of the Bears.
What Is The Oldest Stadium In The NFL?
Soldier Field is actually the oldest stadium in the NFL. This does have its drawbacks (particularly in terms of capacity), but Soldier Field was actually named a historic landmark in 1987, so this stadium really is special.
Can I Bring Snacks Into Soldier Field?
A lot of stadiums don’t allow you to bring any food that is bought outside the stadium into the stadium, but Soldier Field is not one of them.
It is perfectly okay to bring snacks into Soldier Field, they simply must be kept in a clear ziplock bag, rather than a container.
Is It Real Grass At Soldier Field?
Yes, Soldier Field uses real turf, and they are one of the few remaining NFL Stadiums to do so. For a short period in the 70s/80s, astroturf was used, but this was quickly abandoned, and turf was brought back to Soldier Field.
At current, Kentucky Bluegrass is used to create the pitch at Soldier Field, and this type of grass has been used for many years, so it shows no signs of going anywhere.
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