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With NFL Draft In Town, Bears Still Hoping To Bring Super Bowl To Soldier Field

CHICAGO (CBS) -- With the NFL Draft getting underway in Chicago, the Bears are holding out hope of one day hosting a Super Bowl as well.

Chicago Bears chairman George McCaskey said he hasn't given up hope on a Super Bowl at Soldier Field.

"We'd love to have the Super Bowl in Chicago," he said.

McCaskey admitted the Bears and the Chicago Park District -- which owns Soldier Field -- first would have to solve the problem of the stadium's capacity, which is among the lowest in the NFL. Soldier Field holds only about 61,500 people for football games – well short of the 70,000 seats the league normally requires to host a Super Bowl. Mayor Rahm Emanuel also has said he wants a Super Bowl in Chicago but hasn't said if he'd be willing to expand seating capacity at Soldier Field to do so.

"I wouldn't put anything past the mayor," McCaskey said. "He's a very determined individual. We do need to address the weather issue, of course, and we need to address the capacity issue at Soldier Field. I think there have been talks with the architects from time to time. I don't know about anything concrete, if you'll pardon the expression, but there are some limitations with the building as is. It's just a question of whether that could be accomplished."

The Bears also would have to address concerns about the city's winter weather, as only one Super Bowl to date has been held in an outdoor stadium in a cold weather city – Super Bowl XLVIII in New York, when the temperature was a mild 49 degrees at kickoff. The average high temperature in Chicago in early February is 32 degrees.

McCaskey said he's happy Chicago is hosting the NFL Draft, and he hopes everything goes well, but he stayed away from any comments about which players the Bears would pick.


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