City Cast

This Month in Chi History: Soldier Field

Sidney Madden
Sidney Madden
Posted on September 12, 2022   |   Updated on June 22
Two Steelers players tackle a diving Bears player

The Bears play the Pittsburgh Steelers at Soldier Field Sept. 19, 1971. (Bettmann / Getty)

The Bears have been making headlines between Sunday’s home opener, new Bermuda grass, and plans to move to Arlington Heights.

But 51 years ago, the team was in the news for their first game at Soldier Field after permanently moving into the venue.

The Bears beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the rain with two late touchdowns at the lakefront stadium on Sept. 19, 1971.

Playing at Wrigley Field for decades, the Bears had to move to a venue with more than 50,000 seats because of new rules after the National Football League–American Football League merger.

Even then, owner George Halas had wanted to move the team to the northern suburb, Curbed reported. Today, daughter Virginia McCaskey and the rest of the fam are closer to making that happen.

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