The Chicago Bears had made Olivet Nazarene University down in Bourbonnais their home for training camp for many years. It became sort of an institution. However, nothing ever stays the same in this league forever. After spending millions of dollars on state-of-the-art expansions to their facilities at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, the team has reached a decision to begin conducting future camps at that location. This ends an 18-year run the Bears had spent down there.
While this is probably disappointing for the local town residents who enjoyed the extra tourist income every summer, not much is expected to change. The Bears are still expected to welcome fans to practices in July and August. What will become an issue is how many? There was no limit to the number of people allowed down in Bourbonnais due to plenty of space. That could prove a challenge at Halas Hall despite the recent addition of a large parking lot.
Details that are certain to get hammered out and revealed in the coming weeks.
Chicago Bears training camp decision wasn’t a surprise
The truth is the Bears are merely embracing a league-wide trend. The era of teams going away to camps are dying out. Many have begun to keep the logistics simple by holding them at their team facilities. Not only will the players be able to take full advantage of the brand new fields and technology that have been installed there, but they will also be able to go home and sleep in their own beds. An often-overlooked sacrifice they used to make during the Bourbonnais days.
Everything about this decision is geared towards getting this team as motivated and sharp as possible for the 2020 season. Easily the most important for many of the top guys including GM Ryan Pace, head coach Matt Nagy, and quarterback Mitch Trubisky.