I will hear no more trendy bashing of the renovated Soldier Field. Went to Opening Night last night with Dad, saw the new stadium, sat in the new seats.
Blown away. What a great job.
The old walls are up, as are the columns — but they are not, as I had feared, stand-alones. They have been integrated into the new stadium with startling grace. You can walk among the columns, now, which is Way Fucking Cool. The concourses aren’t crowded anymore, which is sweet — though it will be more so in December.
Speaking of December, there isn’t really an “inside” anymore. There’s no roof between the inner ring and the outer ring.
The vendors — food, swag, credit cards, etc — are far less crushed in than they used to be, and there’re more kiosks, and more variety.
Our seats are in the same general area — SW corner, way the hell up — but are closer to the field, in an Above sort of way. With the exception of spotting on the far sideline, the view is much better.
As to those who say the place is ugly, I say: The old place was ugly, too, and it was uncomfortable. (And the renovated Soldier Field looks way, way better at night than during the day. I’m OK with this.)
I’m gushing now. I’ll stop. (No, wait, one more thing. You sportswriters who write about how awful the stadium is yet haven’t sat in the stands in years and go in through a private entrance: Fuck you.) I may be overimpressed, but if so, it is because I was so relieved they didn’t put a roof on it.
Now all we need is a team. The one we have now was best summed up by Harry Teinowitz: “The Chicago Bears, presented by Bank One. Yeah, Bank One-and-fifteen.”