The Chicago Bears are hopeful to have some fans at Soldier Field for home games this season, but the club announced Monday that season-ticket holders can get full refunds for 2020 without the loss of future privileges.
In a letter sent to season-ticket holders, the Bears said they are still formulating a plan for the season under COVID-19 guidelines created by the city, state and NFL. They fell short of guaranteeing there will be any fans at home games.
“The presence of and the exact number of fans that will be allowed into Soldier Field has not yet been determined,” the club said. “Our hope is to build a model that provides the opportunity to see the Bears play this fall to as many Season Ticket Holders as possible. We will communicate your options as soon as a plan is finalized.
“Given all of the current uncertainties, we want to inform you that one option will be to provide you a full refund for the 2020 season while still retaining your ability to renew your season tickets in 2021 in your same seat location.”
The Bears are scheduled to start the regular season Sept. 13 at Detroit. The first home game is scheduled for Week 2 on Sept. 20 against the Giants. The Bears are slated to play home preseason games against the Browns on Aug. 15 and against the 49ers on Aug. 29. The NFL has discussed the possibility of reducing the preseason from four games to potentially two. NFL owners participated in a leaguewide conference call last week to discuss many of the issues that still must be navigated in the months ahead with training camps set to open July 28.
Clubs with permission from local officials are expected to be allowed to have some fans at games. The league also green-lighted teams to cover lower bowl seating with advertising signs in order to recoup some of the lost revenue.
Whether or not fans will be allowed in Soldier Field this season remains to be seen. Illinois moved to phase four in Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s coronavirus plan last week, with “gatherings of 50 people or fewer are allowed with this limit subject to change based on latest data and guidance.”
On June 25, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city is “not there yet” when it comes to allowing fans in stadiums. She was responding to Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney’s remarks that the team is “looking at manifests to find out how can we responsibly socially distance up to 20%, or in our case about 8,000 fans inside Wrigley Field.”
The Bears encouraged season-ticket holders to contact the organization for more information.
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