LAKE FOREST -It’s something old and something new at the same time for the Bears and their players.
Fans have been at training camps in the past, often coming out in strong numbers when the team was still working out in Bourbonnais. But things are a little different in 2021 as the Bears start their summer workouts ahead of their season which will start on September 12th.
For the first time ever at the current Halas Hall, fans were able to watch a training camp practice in person. Ticketed spectators took to temporary stands for the first time on Thursday afternoon, doing so after the COVID-19 pandemic kept them out of the 2020 workouts.
It’s the first time that the team has had spectators at team headquarters since 1983 when they were at old Halas Hall on the campus of Lake Forest College.
“Today marks a pretty cool time where fans can come back to practice,” said head coach Matt Nagy of Thursday’s morning workout. “Yout kinda feel the juice and the energy. It’s not like the 11,000 fans like we were getting in Bourbonnais because of the new location, but at the same time, it’s going to be a lot of fun seeing all those fans out there getting going.
“I know the players and coaches will love it and we’ll have a good time.”
Thursday was one of 14 practices that will be open to the fans at Halas Hall during training camp, including Friday and Saturday, with the last coming on August 25th. Fans had to apply for free tickets to the camp in early July, with parking available at nearby Hawthorn Mall with different restrictions for vaccinated and non-vaccinated spectators.
Along with these open workouts, the team will hold their annual Family Fest at Soldier Field on Tuesday, August 3rd, with tickets available for $10.