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Bears ‘open’ to naming rights for Soldier Field, in theory

Soldier Field does not have a naming rights sponsor. (Getty Images)

The Bears would be open to issuing naming rights to Soldier Field in theory, chairman George McCaskey said, though there’s no reason to think it would happen anytime soon.

In an interview with the Sun-Times last week — shortly after the White Sox announced plans to change U.S. Cellular Field to Guaranteed Rate Field — McCaskey said the issue of selling naming rights has “come up from time to time.”

Mayor Richard Daley approved a renaming plan in accordance with Soldier Field’s remodel, but shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, said the field should keep its original name.

McCaskey said the Bears must always be cognizant of its status as a war memorial.

“It was supposed to be part of the reconstruction of Solider Field,” McCaskey said. “It didn’t happen. We’d be open to it.

“We’re sensitive to the fact that our stadium is a war memorial, so we want to be respectful of the men and women in the military, those who have served and will serve.”

The Chicago Park District owns Soldier Field and would make any decision — not the Bears. McCaskey stressed that it wasn’t a front-burner issue for him or the Bears.

“I don’t know anything in the works right now,” he said. “It’s a possibility.”