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PLANS FORMALLY REVEALED FOR A NEW BEARS STADIUM IN GARY
Published November 16, 1995
A group of Northwest IN business leaders, under the banner of "Northwest Indiana/Chicagoland Entertainment," yesterday announced plans for a 75,000-seat "futuristic" open-air stadium complex in Gary, IN, called Planet Park, according to today's CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. Designer Benjamin Wood said the stadium would be a place where "sports can relate with the world of cyberspace," adding that several thousand of the seats would have control panels allowing fans to play interactive games. The group also said the Bears would remain the Chicago Bears. In addition to a stadium, Planet Park would also feature a family resort, hotel, recreational vehicle park, amusement park and nine-hole golf course. There would also be a Bears Hall of Fame, a "Planetary Garden," a multi-screen movie theatre and parking for more than 25,000 cars with a special area for tailgating (Michelle Campbell, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 11/16). The plan calls for a 60-40 public-private financing split, with public money from a .5% Lake County income tax and PSLs and stadium-related revenue the source of private funds (Christian & Kass, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/16). REACTION: Bears VP of Operations Ted Philips: "Contrary to prior reports, we have not agreed to any deal. We are still looking at the Soldier Field proposal and the northwest Indiana proposal. There is a lot of work to be done." The Bears are scheduled to meet with Chicago officials next week regarding the proposed renovation of Soldier Field (Mike Mulligan, CHICAGO SUN- TIMES, 11/16). YER UP, YER HONOR: Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says he counts "25 ifs" in the Gary proposal, while his Chicago renovation proposal is a sure thing. Daley: "We have an engineering and construction date that can start Jan. 1. We have a financial package. We have no ifs involved in any of those things" (Fran Spielman, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 11/16). FROM INDIANA: Cam Simpson writes in the INDIANAPOLIS STAR that at a closed-door luncheon yesterday hosted by NIPSCO, Lake County Council members were not "giving signals either way" about the proposed income tax. Council Member Fran DuPrey: "I think we are going to be very cautious, I'm waiting to get more facts" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 11/16).