Worlds are colliding! Da Superfan and the inner geek fanboy in me are in a battle of galactic proportions. When I heard that the City of Chicago was making a pitch to Star Wars creator George Lucas to house his Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, I was stoked! How great would it be to be able to check out memorabilia from one of my all-time favorite movie franchises in my own hometown!?!?
Then I read this story that Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s task force was recommending the last just south of Soldier Field – specifically the parking lots used for tailgating just south of Soldier Field – for the site of the new museum. What in the name of Papa Bear Halas is going on?!?!?
The task force’s theory is that the museum, which would hold artwork and more than 500,000 pieces of movie memorabilia, would draw in conventioneers on foot while also creating a new lakefront park on land that is now asphalt, according to the 56-page reported obtained by The Tribune.
“The recommendation is very thoughtful and a fitting site for the type of museum and educational partner the city of Chicago is looking for, and it would complete our museum campus, which is world class and brings people from all over the world,” Emanuel said Tuesday.
The recommendation does not factor in what would happen to the thousands who park and tailgate along the lakefront before and after each Bears game.
Meanwhile, the lots, known as the south surface lot and the Waldron parking deck/garage, which are home to thousands of tailgaters during Bears’ home games, would be moved underground at Lucas’ expense, according to a city official. The report does not detail if or where tailgating would be permitted in that area; but grills and open fire pits already are prohibited in the stadium’s north garage.
Tailgating already took a big hit a decade ago when Soldier Field was renovated. This move could wipe out tailgating as easily as the Death Star wiped out Alderaan.
What do you think, Bears fans? Are you willing to cram into new underground parking lots to accommodate a new Star Wars museum? Which George’s corner are you in – Lucas or Halas?