In the Clear

In the ongoing court battle about the new Soldier Field certain information the Bears would like to remain private has come into the public domain. The lease for the stadium, which is scheduled to ready for the 2003 season, will net the Bears $20 million.

Although, the $5.7 million annual rent the team will pay to the Chicago Park District is the highest in the NFL, Chicago still stands to make a considerable profit.

"I'm not ashamed to say that we are going to be making more money,'' Bears president Ted Phillips said during a court suit seeking to stop the project.

Attorneys for the project opponents made the number public in a court hearing last month. Circuit Judge John Madden last month threw out a lawsuit by project opponents challenging the $432 million in public funding for the renovation. Since then the state Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal, but that will not come until September.

Phillips said that team revenues had dropped from eighth highest in the National Football League six years ago to 29th out of 31 in 2000. He added the stadium would have to be filled to full capacity for the organization to make estimated projections.

"Our best-case projections ... show us receiving an average deal'' within the National Football League, he said. "Best case" means the team has to sell out--"all of our seating products--skyboxes, club seats or general."

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