|Renovations to the Bears' offices at Halas Hall are supposed to be completed by Aug. 1. (Getty Images)|
The Bears unveiled plans to improve and expand team headquarters, with president Ted Phillips promising to turn Halas Hall into a “championship-caliber facility.”
The Chicago Tribune reports the upgrade is believed to cost upward of $20 million. Phillips would not discuss finances, but said the project won't affect the Bears' ability to afford free agents.
“This is meant to enhance our ability to put a better team on the field and have a more efficient operation,” Phillips said. “When free agents come in, they want to go to a winning team, but they also want to go to an organization that invests back in their facility. We are doing that. We have a new coach and a second-year general manager to get us a championship team, and we'll have a championship-caliber facility, too.”
The project will add 30,000 square feet to the 100,000-square-foot facility in suburban Lake Forest, Ill. Halas Hall was built in 1997. Renovations are supposed to be completed by Aug. 1.
Among the changes: the weight room, training and rehabs areas will grow, the locker room will be renovated and player meeting rooms will be updated with Smart Boards that can interact with playbooks, the Tribune reports.
The team will build a kitchen and dining area that seats 100.
“We've been inadequate in that area,” Phillips said. “A few years ago, we added the players' lounge. But I think it fell short of meeting their daily needs. There isn't a lot of space for the players. Now it will be a first-class dining facility [where] they will want to sit, watch TV, eat a meal and enjoy some camaraderie.”
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