Chicago mayor explores Soldier Field expansion

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is exploring whether to add thousands of seats to Soldier Field.

The preliminary proposal would add 5,000 seats. The stadium that's home to the Chicago Bears has a capacity of 61,500 people for football games and 63,500 for other events.

Emanuel tells the Chicago Sun-Times the seating means the facility hurts efforts to attract high-profile events.

In May 2012, Emanuel touted a recent NATO summit as an example of the city's ability to host a big event and said Chicago would be "perfect" for a Super Bowl. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who was with Emanuel at Soldier Field at the time, acknowledged that capacity "is always an issue."

A Bears spokesman says "if it makes sense to add seats, we'd certainly be open to the idea."

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