Ground has been broken, work has begun and, in a few months, the Bears' home in Lake Forest will have a new look to it. Halas Hall is undergoing it's own extreme makeover.
The Bears unveiled their ambitious expansion project for Halas Hall on Monday, which includes adding more than 30,000 square feet to their 100,000 square-foot facility in Lake Forest.
There's no denying that the Bears have outgrown their facility, which was built in 1997. The expansion project is scheduled to conclude by Aug. 1, before the team returns from training camp.
For the players, the Halas Hall expansion project means remodeling their locker room, expanding their weight room and training room by 1,500 square feet and updating or creating new meeting rooms with better technology.
A new dining hall and kitchen will be built. There also will be additional meeting rooms and offices for team staff.
The outdoor practice fields and the Walter Payton Center will not be impacted by the project. In other words, some offseason activities --- such as OTAs and minicamp -- may not be affected by the project.
"Upgrading our football facilities will give our players, coaches and personnel staff additional space and new technology to help them prepare during each phase of the football calendar," team president Ted Phillips said in a statement. "We will continue to provide our team the resources needed to compete for championships."
A new event center will be built on the south end of Halas Hall. It will include a 4,000-square foot broadcast studio and conference space that can host events and a new press conference room. The Bears also will be adding a suite to the second level of Halas Hall for viewing of practices.
"The new event center provides a unique opportunity to grow our business through a variety of assets on the Halas Hall campus," Phillips said. "We believe this will be an attractive place to entertain guests, build new Bears events and expand our team content offerings across multiple mediums to our loyal fans throughout the year.
"Competition within the sports and entertainment world remains intense and continues to evolve. Our challenge is to find ways to bring partners and fans closer to our product. Creating innovative and one-of-a-kind experiences for our key constituents is vital to our success. The event center will allow us to showcase the Bears in new and improved ways for the foreseeable future."