The annual Bears Expo -- the Soldier Field tradition that tides fans over until the season kicks off in the fall -- will take place this Sunday, May 17. The Chicago Bears and 4th Phase, the team's dedicated fan club, hosts the event, which will bring together players, coaches and front office personnel with their adoring public.
The Bears Expo features an array of activities, from seminars, autograph sessions and locker room tours to on-field activities, a kids' area and vendors selling all types of Bears merchandise and memorabilia. Fans can participate in football drills, take a chance at kicking a field goal and play Bears bingo. And, of course, Bears players past and present are a big part of the Expo. This year, they're expecting our new starting quarterback, Jay Cutler, to appear, along with fan favorites Matt Forte, Brian Urlacher, Greg Olsen and many more. Bears alumni scheduled to appear include legends Gale Sayers, Richard Dent, Steve McMichael and more.
Autograph sessions will follow a strict policy: The first 4,000 fans to enter the Expo will receive scratch-off tickets reserving one spot for a session, and everyone else will get an enter-to-win card (in other words: get there early). There will be some open autograph sessions throughout the day in the Mezzanine Level of Soldier Field, as well, so all is not lost if you get stuck in traffic. Note: No pictures with players will be allowed.
The seminar schedule includes "Inside the Bears" with Bears president and CEO Ted Phillips, GM Jerry Angelo and head coach Lovie Smith discussing the 2009 season; a Bears Q & A with active players Jay Cutler, Greg Olsen, Matt Forte and Orlando Pace; and "Football Tales" with former players Matt Suhey, Steve McMichael, Emery Morehead, Jerry Azumah and Marcus Robinson.
The event will go from 10AM until 6PM, with Soldier Field gates opening at 9:30AM. Adult tickets are $35, and tickets for kids ages 2-12 are $20 (under the age of 2 admitted free).