Justin Fields Wants the Bears to Build a Dome in Chicago…Will He Ever Play in It?

The Bears have the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft and trade rumors are afoot

Justin Fields bundles up at Soldier Field in Chicago.
Justin Fields says he loves Da Bears, no matter what you think
Michael Reaves/Getty

With trade rumors swirling around him in advance of the NFL Draft in April, Chicago quarterback Justin Fields sounds as if he may not be the right fit for playing in the Windy City.

Fields, who has shown flashes of being the franchise quarterback the Bears have desperately needed for essentially all of their existence, wants to avoid the snow, wind, cold and fog that come with playing in Chicago by having the franchise build a dome on the 326-acre plot that the team just purchased in suburban Arlington Heights for $197.2 million.

“What it’s all about, is the wind. It can be cold. It can be 10 degrees. But, with no wind you’re fine. But with that 15-mile-per-hour wind, that 20-mile-per-hour wind, you can’t fight it, it’s tough,” Fields said on Pardon My Take. “When it’s that cold, you have to bundle up. I feel way slower in that cold. It’s hard to stay warm in that weather. I hope we get a dome. I don’t care if we’re at Soldier Field, I don’t care if we’re at Arlington Heights. I hope we get a dome.”

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The Bears have played at Soldier Field on Chicago’s lakefront since 1971 and the city is still hoping to keep the team in town by remodeling the venue and expanding capacity. However, the Bears seem fairly keen on building something similar to U.S. Bank Stadium, the home of the Minnesota Vikings since 2016, in Arlington Heights.

“There is still a tremendous amount of due diligence work to be done to determine if constructing an enclosed state-of-the-art stadium and multi-purpose entertainment district is feasible,” the team said in a statement. “The Bears will continue to work closely alongside the Village of Arlington Heights, surrounding municipalities and their residents to solicit extensive feedback on how we can best benefit local communities and Bears fans across Illinois. This planning will include a robust diversity, equity and inclusion program that prioritizes local hiring throughout every stage of the development.”

What that planning will eventually lead to is uncertain, as is the future of Fields in Chicago as the Bears hold the No. 1 pick in April’s draft and could use it to select a quarterback like Alabama’s Bryce Young and make their 23-year-old current starter expendable by doing so. According to some, that may actually be the plan.

Of course, there’s also the possibility that general manager Ryan Poles is just blowing smoke about using the No. 1 pick on a quarterback in order to get other teams to overpay to trade for Chicago’s spot in the draft. “The Bears will be at every quarterback’s pro day,” an NFC scout told NBC Sports Chicago. “They’ll take them to dinner and they’ll [sic] probably be a story about him [sic] impressed they were with them. It’s a dance.”

That makes sense. What doesn’t is having a dome in the Windy City or a quarterback who wants to play in one.

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