Chicago — An upgraded locker room, expanded weight room and updated dining room with an outdoor patio greeted the Chicago Bears when they arrived at Halas Hall for practice this month. The improvements are part of a major expansion and renovation of the Bears’ headquarters in Lake Forest, Illinois, completed by Mortenson Construction in less than seven months, the time between National Football League seasons.
“Despite the very tight turnaround, Mortenson has done a first-class job from start to finish,” says John Bostrom, vice president of business administration for the Chicago Bears. “They put in long hours, successfully working around our staff and coaches who continued to use the facility during construction, and completed all of the improvements in time for the team to take full advantage of them this season.”
The renovation has enhanced both player and business facilities, including the addition of a world-class broadcasting center that has already enabled the Bears to launch a new weekly television program. “With the expansion and upgrades, the Bears organization has strengthened its competitiveness on and off the field with state-of-the-art resources for players, coaches and staff,” says Greg Werner, vice president and head of the Chicago office of Mortenson Construction.
Mortenson expanded Halas Hall by more than 43,000 square feet to a total of 143,350 square feet. As part of the renovation, it enlarged the weight room and training room while installing new lighting, lockers, and carpeting in the locker room. Mortenson added offices and conference rooms with upgraded technology as well as a viewing suite overlooking the team’s practice fields.
A new event center includes a 4,000-square foot broadcast studio and conference center, new press conference room and additional work space for media. At the event center, the Bears are putting the finishing touches on a special interactive space featuring team information and memorabilia, including some never-before-featured pieces of Bears history such as the 1963 NFL championship trophy.
Mortenson drew on extensive experience, having built more than 100 sports and event centers totaling more than $4 billion, for the Halas Hall project.