Publish Date

Free parking, free admission, and youth football

CHICAGO—The Chicago Park District is proud to partner with the Chicago Bears philanthropic arm, Bears Care, to operate a league of over 900 players across 14 park locations. After a hard-fought season, only one park team will take the Thomas “Coach” Mitchell championship trophy for the Mum Bowl on November 11, 2023 at the “Stadium in a Park,” Soldier Field, located at 1410 Special Olympics Dr. at 6:30 p.m.

The two finalists, the LaFollette Park Wildcats and the Ogden Park Vikings, will go head-to-head to be named the 2024 Junior Bear Football Champions.

“Chicago is a football town, and our parks are a direct contributor to that rich history. We are so excited to recognize the achievements of the young Junior Bear participants on and off the field at Chicago’s venerable Soldier Field,” said General Superintendent and CEO Rosa Escareño. “Soldier Field may be a big stage, but it’s the coaches, parents, and players in and around community parks that build athletes and scholars.”


The Chicago Park District is excited to welcome families to the Soldier Field for free. Parking and admission are complimentary. Attendees can park in the Waldron Lot located south of Soldier Field. There is one entry point located at Gate 0 (Zero). Soldier Field’s bag policy will be in place.


  • 6:30 P.M.- Mum Ceremony Begins

The Mum Bowl is named for the Chrysanthemum flower. Each player from each team will be given a Chrysanthemum to give to a parent or guardian on field as a gesture of gratitude for their support throughout the season

  • Approx. 6:50 P.M.- Superintendent & CEO Rosa Escareño Delivers Remarks
  • 7:00 P.M. Kickoff

The Junior Bear Players play 10 minute quarters with traditional tackle football rules.

  • Halftime: Walter Payton Award Ceremony

One player from each team has been nominated for the Walter Payton Award, an honor that recognizes exemplary leadership, integrity, and academic achievement. Each of them will be recognized at centerfield, and one player will be awarded the distinction.

  • At the end of the game, all players receive recognition for participation and the winning teams take photo with the championship trophy, and their coaches.

For more information on the Junior Bear program, visit