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Save Chicago Bears Tailgating! Save The South Lot!

Chicago, IL
Save Chicago Bears Tailgating! Save The South Lot!

The proposed George Lucas Museum should NOT be built on the South Lot. The South Lot is currently utilized for Chicago Bears tailgating festivities, an important part of Chicago culture, ten times every year (more if Chicago hosts playoff games). Mayor Rahm Emanuel has stated that "There's gonna be tailgating. That will not stop." However, museum task force co-chair Gillian Darlow stated that the city would "move the parking underground", eliminating tailgating for droves of passionate Bears fans. The Chicago Bears currently own the rights to use the South Lot until 2033, and the 1973 Lakefront Protection Ordinance outlaws private development east of Lake Shore Drive. Mayor Emanuel clearly wants the George Lucas Museum in Chicago for the obvious financial benefits, but surely he can identify a better location that does not breach existing contracts, break existing laws, and mortally wound a beloved piece of Chicago culture.

Scott Presslak Itasca, IL

...or an alternative place to move the tailgating. Put a single-level parking deck over the McCormick Place trailer storage area south of the Stevenson and shuttle people to/from the stadium from 27th Street to 18th Street on the Electric Line or on the Busway.

Charles Sheets Naperville, IL

There has to be an alternative place to put the lucas museum. Otherwise I fear the Bears will move when their lease is up.

Jeff Grosshauser Geneva, IL

The integrity of the Chicago Bears and the City of Chicago need to stay in place - the elimination of the south lot for tailgating would destroy the game day experience for thousands of Chicago Bear fans who travel to the City of Chicago and spend money. I know there are other activities held in that parking lot that would also be disrupted by the Museum. There has to be a better location in the City for the Museum - please find it.

Ted Cruse Naperville, IL

I agree with Vance, Jeff, and Charles. I understand that Waldron Deck will also be compromised as part of this project. There has to be a better location for this museum that will not destroy the lakefront and the unique/historic culture of the Chicago Bears Game day experience. I have been a season ticket holder for over 20 years and the tailgating experience is an integral component that should not be compromised. Both South Lot and Waldron Deck are heavily utilized year round for all Soldier Field, Northerly Island Concert, and McCormick Place events. The argument that South Lot is only used 10 times a year does not hold water. I am also concerned this museum project if built will heavily impact both the Chicago Bears and their loyal fan base. Please find an alternative location that will create a win/win for the Chicago Bears and the museum project.

Bob Zwaska North Aurora, IL

Tailgaiting should be moved - southern Grant Park would be ideal. Compare it to the Rose Bowl where they take over the local golf course, have people park, and have fantastic tailgaters. Much better than being squeezed into a concrete ghetto (see above picture). If a golf course can take the numerous games every year, surely the softball fields can. Northerly island could also be a good spot with enhanced accessibility (entrance/exit lanes, pedestrian bridge?).

The proposed museum is a fantastic plus for Chicago. We need to find ways to make it happen, not claim squatter's rights over a plot of concrete.

Vince Kornacki Plainfield, IL

Your cleverly worded reference to "a concrete ghetto" leads me to believe that you've never actually tailgated at a Chicago Bears game. In any case, I agree that Grant Park or Northerly Island would be excellent tailgating alternatives, however Rahm Emanuel has already stated that parking will be moved underground at George Lucas' expense. I understand that the museum will generate a windfall of cash for the city, but the proposed site is illegal per a city ordinance, commonly referred to as "the law". In addition, the "squatter's rights" you refer to are commonly referred to as "a contract". In any case, I'm sure simple matters such as "a contract" and "the law" are no match for the revolting greed of a corrupt politician, so I fully expect to be parking underground in the future.