By Doug Halberstadt
With the NFL players and owners still involved in their off-season labor dispute, it still remains unclear when a resolution will be reached. One thing that is clear is the Chicago Bears are finalizing preparations for their upcoming 2011 Ultimate Bears Weekend.
The two-day event will kick off Friday evening, April 29, at Soldier Field with the Miller Lite Draft Party. This event will feature live NFL Draft coverage, alumni appearances, a buffet, locker room tours, giveaways and behind-the-scenes analysis and updates direct from Halas Hall. General admission is $40, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The party begins at 5 p.m. and runs until 10 p.m.
Fans who purchase tickets to the draft party will be treated to a three-hour, all-you-can-eat food buffet and one beverage. They will also get the opportunity to participate in a live Skype chat with Head Coach Lovie Smith and General Manager Jerry Angelo after the Bears’ first pick of the night.
The festivities continue Saturday, April 30, with the Bears Expo. A $15 ticket will include multiple autograph sessions with several former Bears, in-depth seminars in the United Club, locker room tours and newly expanded field activities. This year’s field activities will include the chance to play catch on Soldier Field, kick field goals, run drills and get your picture taken on the field. Fans will also have continued access to draft analysis and updates direct from Halas Hall. Saturday’s events begin at 9:30 a.m. and continue until 3 p.m.
In addition to the on-field activities, fans will also have the opportunity to view the actual busts displayed at the Pro Football Hall of Fame of seven Chicago Bears greats. The busts on display at the Bears Expo will include Mike Ditka, Dick Butkus, George Halas, Dan Hampton, Harold Red Grange, Sid Luckman and Walter Payton.
Fans interested in attending both events during the weekend can purchase an ultimate Bears Weekend Pass. For $50, the pass includes a ticket and food for the Draft Party, and a ticket to the Bears Expo. Tickets for either Friday or Saturday’s events or a weekend pass may be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com.
From the April 20-26, 2011 issue