Soldier Field and the surrounding parkland hosts exciting sporting and special events throughout the year. The design elements inside and outside the stadium will further the public awareness as to the significance and meaning behind the name … Soldier Field – A Stadium in the Park.
The Children’s Garden provides families with unique entertainment. This captivating area offers wonderful learning experiences with its various earth, space and science motifs. Imagination and interaction is all that’s required to enjoy the Children’s Garden.
Soldier Field’s colonnades are open and accessible to the public year-round. The colonnades are available on a daily basis on non-event days for the public to stroll, enjoy their lunch or simply take pleasure in the magnificent view of the city and Lake Michigan. During a walk along the south end of the upper promenade, visitors view the Medal of Honor display, featuring recipients of the highest award for valor in action. Public and private parties will also be held in this area offering a one-of-a kind special event venue.
Upon entering Soldier Field at Gate O, visitors are greeted by a life-size bronze Doughboy statue. “Doughboys” a term used for the World War I infantryman is a tribute to the men and women of our armed services and one of the many memorials at Soldier Field. Located along the inside wall surrounding the Doughboy are panels with falling leaves paying homage to the soldiers who have lost their lives in battle. Along the wall are benches to provide seating and moments of reflection. The benches contain notable quotations regarding the efforts of those who serve our country. Actual Military Medals of Honor representing the various branches of the armed forces are cast into the backrests.
MEMORIAL WATER WALL
The Memorial Water Wall is a 250-foot long granite wall. A continuous stream of water flows over eight medallions and seals honoring the different branches of the armed services. The water wall frames the north side of the stadium providing a dramatic entrance to Soldier Field as well as a magnificent backdrop to the museum campus and city skyline.
The Parkland surrounding Soldier Field has been created for the public’s pleasure. The 17-acre park is home to beautifully landscaped grounds and family areas such as the Children’s Garden and Veteran’s Memorial. To capture and enjoy the four seasons at Soldier Field, the Parkland will host seasonal family events; such as Fall Harvest Festivals, Spring Flower Shows and Farmer Markets. Many of the city’s walk, run and bike-a-thons will now take place in this area providing participants with a wonderful way to exercise along the north and south bike path. A variety of public and private events will also be held in the Parkland including corporate dinners, casual receptions, weddings and birthday parties. Adjacent to the Parkland is the South Festival Lot. The 400,000 square foot space will host public festivals, small concerts, sporting events, corporate ride-n-drives and more.
Originally opened in 1924, Soldier Field was known as one of the great venues during the “Golden Age of Sports” and one of Chicago’s most famous landmarks. Crowds in excess of 100,000 were commonplace, marked by several memorable events including the 1926 Army-Navy game and the epic 1927 Jack Dempsey/Gene Tunney heavyweight rematch featuring the controversial long count. In 1944, 150,000 spectators attended a wartime visit by President Franklin Roosevelt and thousands turned out to hear evangelist Billy Graham in 1962. Soldier Field is also the birthplace of the first Special Olympics Game in 1968. Rock concerts, festivals, rodeos, circuses and even a skiing/toboggan event have called Soldier Field home. The Chicago Bears began using the facility in 1971 and played their first game on the renovated Soldier Field on September 29, 2003.