The Chicago Bears are pulling out of Bourbonnais and will hold their entire training camp at their headquarters in Lake Forest (IL). Olivet Nazarene University has been home for the football team's mini-camp for the last 18 years.
Tuesday's announcement is that Bears will remain at Halas Hall rather than practice the first few weeks 90 miles south at Olivet Nazarene University. 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.
Olivet President John Bowling said in a statement Tuesday "we wish the team weill in making the transition."
Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips had pleasant comments toward the people at Olivet and the communitgies of Bourbonnais, Bradley and Kankakee.
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 in Lake Forest. They also expanded their headquarters, adding a new locker room, weight room, cafeteria, conference rooms and offices.
"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," 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."