History: After taking a year to rebuild historic Soldier Field (during which time the team played home games at Memorial Stadium in Champaign), the Bears christened the new stadium in September 2003. The Bears' first season at the old Soldier Field on the shores of Lake Michigan was in 1971, after spending 50 seasons at Wrigley Field. They played 31 seasons there before the big overhaul. Today there are 5,000-some fewer seats than in the Bears' old home, and with a capacity of 61,500 Soldier Field now is the league's smallest venue. Soldier Field originally opened in 1924 as 45,000-seat Municipal Grant Park Stadium. Extra points if you knew the first football game played on its field, in November 1924, featured Notre Dame and Northwestern. (The Irish prevailed 13-6.) Three years later the all-time collegiate attendance record of 123,000 and change was established at the stadium when Notre Dame beat Southern Cal in a 7-6 barnburner.
Back to Stadium Index