CHICAGO — Former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn called for a referendum that would protect the name of Soldier Field.
Quinn introduced a citizen ordinance at a news conference Tuesday. He said a citywide referendum would prevent the selling of the naming rights to Soldier Field.
The proposed referendum would read: “Shall the people of Chicago protect the good name of Soldier Field – which is a war memorial dedicated to the memory of soldiers who fought for our American democracy – by prohibiting the Mayor, City Council, Park District, or any other governmental entity from attaching a corporate name to Soldier Field or selling the naming rights to Soldier Field in any way.”
“The name of Soldier Field should be Soldier Field forever,” Quinn said in a statement. “The people of Chicago do not want corporate names attached to their war memorials.”
On Monday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot presented three options for renovating Soldier Field.
Lightfoot proposed fully enclosing the stadium by rebuilding both end zones with columns that can support a dome; rebuilding both end zones with columns to make the stadium dome-ready; or modifying Soldier Field to be a multi-purpose stadium better suited for soccer.
The Chicago Bears had no new comment on Lightfoot’s proposals but the team reiterated the same statement it issued July 7 when a panel appointed by Lightfoot recommended the city explore enclosing Soldier Field.
“The only potential project the Chicago Bears are exploring for a new stadium development is Arlington Park. As part of our mutual agreement with the seller of that property, we are not pursuing alternative stadium deals or sites, including renovations to Soldier Field, while we are under contract,” that statement said
— The Associated Press contributed to this report