LAKE FOREST - The Chicago Bears will hold their entire training camp at their headquarters rather than spend the first few weeks in Bourbonnais, Illinois.
The Bears announced Tuesday they will remain at Halas Hall rather than practice the first few weeks 90 miles south at Olivet Nazarene University, as they have for 18 years. They held camp at Wisconsin-Platteville from 1984-2001.
Practices in Bourbonnais were a big draw for Bears fans. The team said free tickets for workouts at Halas Hall will be made available this spring.
The facility has undergone a major transformation in recent years with two new practice fields and more parking spaces added, two big reasons the Bears can now hold camp there. They also expanded their headquarters, adding a new locker room, weight room, cafeteria, conference rooms and offices.
A detail view of the Bourbonnais water tower is seen with the Chicago Bears logo on it during the Chicago Bears training camp on July 27, 2019 at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
“Olivet Nazarene University continues to be a valued and committed partner, but with the recent investment in our campus expansion and state-of-the-art facilities in Lake Forest, we feel it is important to stay home for training camp," president Ted Phillips said. "We would like to thank Olivet Nazarene University, including president John Bowling, and the Bourbonnais community for their 18 years of partnership and hospitality.”
The last time the Bears held camp at home was at Lake Forest College from 1975-83.
Chicago missed the playoffs at 8-8 this season after winning the NFC North at 12-4 in coach Matt Nagy's first year.