What to know before the Bears’ home opener at Soldier Field Sunday


Whether you’re heading to Soldier Field, watching from home, or just in Chicago this weekend, there are some things you’ll want to know ahead of the Chicago Bears home opener at Soldier Field.

Here’s a breakdown:

What time is the Bears game?

The Bears-Bengals game is scheduled for Sunday at noon.

What channel is it on?

The game will be televised on Fox and radio listeners will be able to tune in to WBBM Newsradio 780 AM and 105.9 FM.

Fans who are in the broadcast area can watch the match live and for free via ChicagoBears.com or the Chicago Bears Official App.

Football after-show with David Kaplan, Alex Brown, Lance Briggs and Olin Kreutz will discuss the game on NBC Sports Chicago immediately after the game ends.

How do I get there?

For those going to the match, the car parks open at 8 a.m. and the gates open at 10 a.m.

If you drive, municipal authorities warn of major traffic impacts of several major events this weekend and the potential for street closures.

Due to Mexico’s Independence Day celebrations, residents can expect increased traffic in the central business district and on DuSable Lake Shore Drive this weekend, officials have warned.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Metra are teaming up to help fans play.

For those using the CTA, you’ll want to take the # 128 Soldier Field Express, # 146 Inner Drive / Michigan Express, or the Roosevelt station served by the Red, Green, and Orange lines.

For those arriving from the suburbs, six Metra lines will take you to Chicago Union Station or Ogilvie Transportation Hub, where CTA’s Soldier Field Express # 128 provides express bus service to Soldier Field. The Museum Campus / 11th Street station of the Metra Electric Line is also adjacent to Soldier Field. According to Metra, the rail agency will provide additional service on this line on match days.

Subway lines that connect to Union Station or Ogilvie include:

Union Station:

  • BNSF Railway
  • Milwaukee North
  • Milwaukee West

Ogilvie Transportation Center:

  • North Pacific Union
  • Northwest Pacific Union
  • West Pacific Union

COVID protocols like masking remain in place in all public transport.

What are the COVID protocols at Soldier Field?

Fans are strongly encouraged to arrive and enter Soldier Field early.

  • The ticket office continues to be exclusively mobile.
  • According to CDC guidelines and based on current Chicago local COVID-19 data, the Chicago Department of Public Health requires anyone 2 years of age or older, regardless of their immunization status, to wear masks in public places interiors. The requirement allows masks to be removed while clients are actively eating or drinking.
    • Some fan zones considered inside Soldier Field include the United Club, Miller Lite Midway, Pro Shop, North Garage, bathrooms, elevators, and enclosed hallways. Once suite guests arrive in their suite, masking will be encouraged when not eating or drinking, but will not be required. The open-air halls and the seat bowl are seen outside.
  • Masking remains optional in outdoor environments, although masks are recommended for unvaccinated individuals in crowded outdoor settings.
  • Attorney Aurora Health and the Chicago Bears will be offering free COVID-19 vaccinations from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sunday in the Fan Zone located at Stadium Green on the southeast side of Soldier Field. No match ticket is required to receive the vaccine.

Anything else I should know?

The Bears are warning fans that staff shortages could result in long franchise lines.

“Like many service industries, our dealership is currently experiencing a labor shortage. We ask fans to be patient,” the team said.

Lee Twarling, senior vice president of sales for the Chicago Bears, urged fans to keep this in mind and know that employees “are doing the best job they can.”

“Union struggles are real,” he told NBC Chicago on Friday. “Staffing has been a challenge. “

Fans will also want to remember the stadium’s “transparent bag policy”:

Approved bags are limited to:

  • Clear plastic bags not exceeding 12 “x6” x12 “
  • Clear plastic gallon freezer bags (Ziploc bag or similar)
  • Small clutch bags, no larger than 4.5 “x 6.5”, with or without a handle or strap, can be carried around the stadium with one of the clear bag options.

What to know before the Chicago Bears home opener at Soldier Field on Sunday“originally appeared on NBCChicago.com.

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