Tailgating is back: Bears to welcome fans at full capacity Soldier Field this fall

Get ready pack the coolers, load up the grills and brush on the face paint. Tailgating Bears games is back.

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Chicago Bears fans tailgating prior to the game between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field on September 05, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.

Nuccio DiNuzzo, Getty

Get ready to pack the coolers, load up the grills and brush on the face paint.

Tailgating is set to make a return to Soldier Field parking lots this fall.

The Bears on Wednesday announced its plans to welcome back fans to Soldier Field at full capacity for the 2021 season as well as the return of other pregame festivities, including tailgating.

That means 61,500 fans will have an opportunity to pile into Soldier Field to watch Matt Nagy & Co. this season.

“Your patience and loyalty over the past 15 months is appreciated,” team president and CEO Ted Phillips said in an email to season-ticket holders. “We are thankful and humbled by the unwavering passion you have shared with us. Once again, it’s time to enjoy Bears football in-person!”

The Bears will continue the health and safety guidelines that were put in place last year amid the pandemic, according to the email. That includes deep cleanings of the stadium and constant sanitizing high-touchpoint areas, like railings and elevator buttons.

Fans will not be required to don masks, though unvaccinated people are encouraged to wear face coverings, which is in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

“The health and safety of our fans will remain our number one priority,” Phillips said.

Additional details and updates to guidelines will be made available closer to the season.

Fans have an opportunity to get a first look at the Bears this summer when training camp opens at Halas Hall in late July. It’ll be the first time fans will be at a Bears’ training camp in Lake Forest since 1983.

Information regarding a “very limited” number of free training camp tickets will be shared later this month, the team said. The Bears will also soon release information about a fan fest at Soldier Field scheduled for Aug. 3.

The news comes just two days after the Fire said Soldier Field would be open to full capacity, starting with their match against Atlanta United FC July 3. They joined the Cubs, White Sox and Sky, who’ve already lifted their capacity restrictions.

Bears fans responded enthusiastically to the news on social media.

The only thing that would make the news better (at least for some fans)? If the Bears would name first-round pick Justin Fields the team’s starting quarterback.

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