NFL American football team the Chicago Bears has revealed details of a major expansion of its Halas Hall headquarters.
The team has partnered with design and architecture firm HOK to add a 162,500-square-foot operations space to the existing 143,000-square-foot Halas Hall and a 30,600-square-foot remodelling project on the building’s northeast side.
The Bears said that the initial phase of the project would focus on enhancing the team’s football operations, such as player training, education, performance, nutrition and rehabilitation.
Work on the expansion is slated to begin in March, and it is hoped the project will be completed by August 2019. Mortenson Construction will be the general contractor.
Among the additions will be a 13,000-square-foot indoor turf space for training and walkthroughs with a 133×26 video projection wall and an adjacent virtual reality room. The weight room will be expanded, while an equipment room and recovery space will be included along with a nutrition/field space that will be double the current size.
In addition, the sports medicine space will be four times larger than the current area and will include a hydrotherapy pool. Position meeting rooms and the draft room will double in capacity; coaches offices will increase by 50 per cent; a 3,250-square-foot players’ lounge and separate huddle space will be created; the player and coaches/scouts locker rooms will be expanded; the team and staff café will be expanded and offer new food; and basement storage space will also be increased.
“We’re effectively going to double in size,” Bears president and chief executive Ted Phillips said. “The ultimate facility will be on a par with the best in the NFL. A lot of this is being done to make our football operations, coaching and player personnel areas the best in the league.”
A separate construction project that is currently underway will result in two additional American football fields being built, along with a new training slope, storage facility and a small practice viewing suite.
The Bears moved into Halas Hall on March 3, 1997.
Image: Jim Larrison