Fan Convention offers total access

The Bears are set to host the seventh Annual Fan Convention Feb. 27-29, 2004 at the Chicago Hilton and Towers. This year's convention will include each member of the 2004 coaching staff and over 60 current and former Bears players as well as Pro Bowlers Brian Urlacher, Olin Kreutz and Jerry Azumah.

As in previous years, Bears fans can collect autographs, take part in seminars, play games and more. Bears head coach Lovie Smith and Staley Da Bear are scheduled for a special photo session on Sunday and many fan favorite events have been planned including opening ceremonies, Bears Bingo, the youth interactive area, kids football clinics and question and answer sessions with Bears players.

Some of the former and current players scheduled to appear at this year's Convention include: Jerry Azumah, Marty Booker, Lance Briggs, Alex Brown, Doug Buffone, Jim Covert, Shaun Gayle, Rex Grossman, Olin Kreutz, Steve McMichael, William Perry, Anthony Thomas, Charles Tillman, Mike Tomczak, Brian Urlacher and Otis Wilson.

Convention Hours:
Friday, February 27: 4-10 p.m.
Saturday, February 28: 9 a.m.-11 p.m.
Sunday, February 29: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Ticket Prices: (available for purchase at the door)
$35 for an adult weekend pass
$20 for adult Friday-only or Saturday-only pass
$10 for adult Sunday-only pass
$10 for children ages 12 and under for day or weekend pass
Kids ages two and under admitted free of charge

Rooms can be booked at the Hilton Chicago for a special convention rate and ticket package by calling (877) 865-5320 with a portion of the proceeds going to Bears Care. For more information, call the Chicago Bears at (847) 295-6600.

Friday, February 27, 2004
4 pm-Doors open

6:30 pm - 8 pm: Opening Ceremonies
Grand Ballroom
The 7th Annual Fan Convention kicks off with an all new Opening Ceremonies, featuring current and former Bears players, Head Coach Lovie Smith and a state-of-the-art video presentation and laser show.

8:30 pm - 10 pm: Bears Bingo
Bears Den Northwest Hall
Play to win prizes including Bears gear and autographed memorabilia. Be sure to pick up your bingo card and chips at the entrance. Space is limited.

8:30 pm - 9:30 pm: Kids' Night Mystery Guest!
Williford Room 3rd Floor
Take advantage of the 2nd annual kids only autograph session featuring a favorite Bears player. Who will it be this year? You'll have to wait and see! Limited to the first 100 kids ages 4-12.

Saturday, February 28, 2004
9:30 am - 5 pm: Autograph Sessions
Check the designated autograph areas for schedule updates. Each session is limited to the first 300 fans (unless noted). Players and times are subject to change without notice.

Autograph locations
Stages 1 - 4: Autograph Hall (Southeast Hall)
Photo Stage: Bears Vendor Alley (Southwest Hall)
Kids Only Stage: Kids Zone (International Ballroom)

9 am - 10 am: Inside the Bears
Hosted by WBBM Radio Analyst Hub Arkush
Continental Room (Lobby Level)
Join Bears radio analyst Hub Arkush, Chicago Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips, General Manager Jerry Angelo and Head Coach Lovie Smith as they answer questions about the new coaching staff, Soldier Field, the Bears organization and the upcoming season.

10:30 am - Noon: Draft Day 2004
Continental Room (Lobby Level)
Join Hub Arkush, Jeff Joniak and few of Chicagoland's football experts as they discuss the 2004 NFL Draft.

Noon - 1 pm: Bears Q & A
Hosted by Jeff Joniak
Waldorf Room (3rd Floor)
This Chalk Talk huddle breaks down a work week with a few members of the current Bears roster. The host taps into some of the players' favorite TV shows, hobbies and hidden talents.

1 pm - 2 pm: Football Tales
Hosted by Hub Arkush
Williford Room (3rd Floor)
Remember the good old days of the hard-hitting players from the past? Hub Arkush takes you inside the locker room with a panel of Bears alumni.

2 pm - 3 pm: Breaking Down the Game
Hosted by Jeff Joniak and Glen Kozlowski
Waldorf Room (3rd Floor)
Come see how the players analyze their performance after a game. Bears players break down video and provide insight on X's and O's.

3 pm - 4 pm: Chicago Bears: A History Lesson
Waldorf Room (3rd Floor)
The Huddle features Richard Whittingham, the author of more than 30 books, including The Chicago Bears, An Illustrated History; Bears in Their Own Words; The Bears, A 75-Year Celebration; and What Bears They Were. Listen as he takes you inside the history of the Bears, beginning with George Halas. What Bears They Were, is available for purchase following the huddle.

4 pm - 5 pm: Decoding the Salary Cap
Hosted by Hub Arkush
Williford Room (3rd Floor)
New to the 2004 convention, Bears Director of Player Contracts and Legal Affairs Cliff Stein provides insight on how the salary cap impacts the game. Also, get the inside scoop on what it takes to sign a player.

5:30 pm - 6:30 pm: Game Time Equipment
Waldorf Room (3rd Floor)
Meet popular Equipment Manager Tony Medlin and his staff as they demonstrate how to suit up the Bears for the season.

- Just for Kids Saturday Huddles -
1:00 am - 12:30 pm: Kids Only Autographs
Kids Zone (International Ballroom)

Noon - 4 pm: Video Game Challenge
Boulevard Room (2nd Floor)
Junior Bears Fans: test your skills against the best video game players on the Bears current roster. For kids ages 4-12. Space is limited.

1 pm - 2 pm: Kids Only Q & A
Continental Room (Lobby Level)
Here is a chance to ask questions of Chicago Bears players! Open to Kids ages 12 & under (parents may accompany child).

3 pm - 4 pm: Bears University
Kids Zone (International Ballroom)
It's time to earn a degree in football! This new huddle features current and alumni players who will teach football basics. Complete all the drills and earn an Official Bears University diploma signed by Staley Da Bear!

4 pm - 5 pm: Staley Da Bear Photo & Autograph Session
Kids Zone (International Ballroom)

- Saturday Night Huddles -
6 pm - 7 pm: Mascot Football Game
Kids Zone (International Ballroom)
Watch as the best mascots in sports take the field. Fun for the whole family and guaranteed laughs!

8 pm - 11 pm: Miller Lite Winter Beach Party
Bears Den (Northwest Hall)
The main event on Saturday night features a beach theme with live music, fun contests, prizes and much more!

Sunday, February 29, 2004
9:30 am - 1 pm: Autograph Sessions
Check the autograph schedule updates. Each session is limited to the first 300 fans (unless noted). Players and times are subject to change without notice.

Autograph locations:
Stages 1 - 4: Autograph Hall (Southeast Hall)
Photo Stage: Bears Vendor Alley (Southwest Hall)
Kids Only Stage: Kids Zone (International Ballroom)

9 am - 1 pm: Bears Memorabilia Road Show
Mobley Room (Lower Lobby)
Bring your sports memorabilia and collectible experts will appraise your most prized Bears possessions. You may be surprised how much your items are worth!

9 am - 10 am
Coffee with the Coordinators
Continental Room (Lobby Level)
Welcome Offensive Coordinator Terry Shea, Defensive Coordinator Ron Rivera and Special Teams Coordinator Dave Toub. Jeff Joniak will introduce the new coaches and conduct an interactive Q & A session. Silent auction items are also available to bid on during the breakfast. Proceeds from the auction benefit Bears Care, a fund of the Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation.

11 am - Noon: NFL Huddle - Earning their Stripes
Hosted by Jerry Markbreit
Waldorf Room (3rd Floor)
Find out what it takes to be an NFL official in a visit with former NFL referee Jerry Markbreit. In 23 seasons, Markbreit officiated an NFL-record four Super Bowls and eight conference title games. Review actual plays on the NFL instant replay machine and you make the call!

11 am: Lovie Smith Photo Session
Photo Stage: Bears Vendor Alley (Southwest Hall)
Check the autograph schedule for additional player autograph sessions.

Noon - 1 pm: Staley Da Bear Photo & Autograph Session
Kids Zone (International Ballroom)

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