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Local Sports

Bears bid farewell to Bourbonnais training camp

Following an 18-year partnership, Bears moving camp to Halas Hall

Mitchell Trubisky leads fellow Bears offensive players during training camp in Bourbonnais.
Mitchell Trubisky leads fellow Bears offensive players during training camp in Bourbonnais.

The Bears announced Tuesday that they'll hold their training camp this year at newly-renovated Halas Hall following 18 consecutive summers at Olivet Nazerene University in Bourbonnais.

“We will host training camp practices at Halas Hall in 2020, while maintaining a public component to many of the sessions to incorporate our loyal and passionate fans,” Bears President & CEO Ted Phillips said in a statement. “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.

"We would like to thank Olivet Nazarene University, including President John Bowling, and the Bourbonnais community for their 18 years of partnership and hospitality.”

The Bears were one of the NFL's last teams to hold training camp at a site separate from their regular facility, creating a unique and intimate fan experience. However, the writing has been on the wall for this announcement ever since the Bears began expanding Halas Hall in March 2018, a project that more than doubled the facility's square footage with a focus on enhancing football operations, including huge weight-room and field upgrades.

The Bears will continue to give away a limited number of free tickets to fans who'll be allowed to attend practice at the Lake Forest facility, roughly 85 miles north of ONU. More details will be announced this spring, following the release of the 2020 schedule.

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