List of events at Soldier Field

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Soldier Field in 2006
The Chicago Bears have played at Soldier Field for over 40 years. Here they are playing the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field September 28, 2008.

Soldier Field is a stadium that opened in 1924. It has primarily served as the home field of the Chicago Bears professional football club for over four decades, but it also hosted numerous other events in its more than 90 years of existence (and was not made the home to the Chicago Bears until 1971, as prior to that season the Bears played at Wrigley Field). The Bears' intent was originally to move from Wrigley Field to Northwestern's Dyche Stadium, but that move was blocked by Evanston as well as the Big Ten Conference, so they later took the City of Chicago up on their offer to move into Soldier Field where they have since played. Soldier Field has hosted a great variety and quantity of events since it opened.[1][2][3][4]


Soldier Field nearing completion in 1924


  • September 5 was the first day of the first dedicatory event at Soldier Field. It was an athletic meet with policemen as participants, and was a fundraiser for the Chicago Police Benevolent Association, which provided support for police widows and officers disabled in the line of action. The meet's official opening ceremony on the second day featured 1,200 police officers parading through the stadium, fireworks, and music by two police bands, among other entertainment. The contests in the event included a chariot race and a game of "motorcycle polo". The opening ceremony was attended by 45,000 spectators. Events raising funds for Chicago's Policemen and Firemen Benevolent funds were a mainstay at Soldier Field until 1971.[1][5][6][7][8]
  • On September 10, there was yet another dedicatory event at Soldier Field. This one was the "Pageant of Music and Light", and was followed less than two weeks later by another ceremony.[1][9][10][11][12][13][14]
  • On September 27, Soldier Field hosted a Chicago Daily News-sponsored women's track meet featuring more than 500 Chicago-area participants. In addition to traditional track and field events, the competitions also included such events as a basketball distance throw.[1]
  • On October 4, the stadium hosted its first football game, a match between Louisville Male High School and Chicago's Austin Community Academy High School. Louisville's team won 26–0.[1][15][16][17][18]
  • On October 9, a "Chicago Day" event, marking the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, was attended by a crowd of 60,000. The event contained the formal dedication and official opening of Grant Park Municipal Stadium. The event included military troops partaking in a mock battle, equine performances by riders from the 14th Cavalry's Troop A, and a semi re-enactment of the Great Chicago Fire with firemen (including ten who actually had fought the Great Fire) fighting the fire using Fire King No. 1 (Chicago's first pump engine). In the re-enactment, a cow knocked over a lantern (according to lore), a replica of the O'Leary barn was burned down, and firemen used modern equipment to fight a fire in a mock-up of a three-story building. Following this spectacle there were police drills, performances by two police quartets, and a polo match. The teams in the polo match were led by Chicago Tribune owner Robert R. McCormick and Hotel Sherman manager Frank Bering. McCormick's team won 5–4.[1][2][4][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][4]
  • On November 11, Viator College of Bourbonnais, Illinois and Columbia College of Dubuque, Iowa played in the 1924 Midwest Catholic League championship. The game benefited an American Legion fund for disabled veterans. The game ended 0–0. Due to poor weather conditions the attendance was only 2,000. This was the first college football game held at Soldier Field.[1]
  • On November 22, 45,000 spectators saw Notre Dame play Northwestern. Notre Dame won 13 to 6. This was the first football game between two major colleges to be held at Soldier Field. Northwestern's Ralph "Moon" Baker (a member of the College Football Hall of Fame) would later say that this game, during which he kicked two field goals (one 34 and the other 36 yards) against the 1924 Notre Dame team that featured the "Four Horsemen", was his greatest thrill. That season Baker set a Northwestern Wildcats team record of seven field goals in a single season, a team record that was unbroken until the 1960s.[1][4][27][28][29][30][31]
  • In December, Soldier Field hosted a state amateur horseshoe pitching tournament sponsored by the Ogden Park Horseshoe Pitching Club and Chicago Playground Council.[1][29][32][33][34]
  • October 10 (the 53rd anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire) another dedication of the stadium was held.[1]
  • In late 1924 the South Park commissioners erected an ice rink in Soldier Field.[1]


  • On May 9, Soldier Field hosted the South Parks Marble Championship. The tournament included both adult and juvenile competitions.[1]
  • From May 22–25, the 65th Reserves and its superior outfit, the Army's Sixth Corps, sponsored the first of numerous military pageants held at Soldier Field. There were two shows a day, airplane fights in the afternoon, searchlights and antiaircraft-mimicking fireworks in the evening. The highlight of the day shows was a radio-dispatched arrangement of warplanes flying over the stadium. Audience members could hear the air-to-ground radio communication via the stadium's state-of-the-art loudspeaker system, and watch the planes respond to the ground command and perform stunts. 25,000 attended the first afternoon show, among them Vice President Charles G. Dawes. The temperature was 92 degrees. The show reenacted the Battle of the Argonne utilizing, among other things, a smoke screen and four tanks. In the first night show's reenactment an infantryman was injured when he was trampled by horses, and prior to that show a policeman partaking in a Roman-style horse race was thrown from his horse and also injured. For the final day wind kept the planes grounded, and the crowd was small due to chilly temperature that peaked near 40 degrees. Nonetheless, entire event was deemed a success.[1][35][36][37][38][39][40][41][42]
  • April 19 Loyola University held an intercollegiate track meet at Soldier Field. Amongst the participants in the competition was nine-time Olympic gold medalist (and three-time silver medalist) Paavo Nurmi of Finland who was in the last several weeks of a five-month US tour (during which he participated in 55 competitions). Nurmi had won five gold medals at the 1924 Summer Olympics. Also competing was fellow Finnish Olympian Ville Ritola, who was also a United States resident and had traveled with Nurmi during his tour. Nurmi defeated Ritola in the meet.[1][43][44][45][46]
  • In May Soldier Field held and event dubbed the "first annual Chicago Olympics", an athletics event sponsored by the Finnish-American Athletic Association. Notable male competitors include Finnish five-time Olympic gold medalist (and three-time silver medalist) Ville Ritola, Finnish two-time Olympic gold medalist Jonni Myyrä, American two-time Olympic gold medalist Harold Osborne. Notable female competitors included US Women's Athletics legends Helen Filkey, Norma Zilk, and Nellie Todd (who, along with Zilk, was a protégé of University of Chicago track coach Tom Eck). Norma Filkey set a record in hurdles at the event, Jonni Myyrä set a javelin record at the event, Harold Osborne won as the best overall athlete of the competition, and Ville Ritola won the 2-mile race. Due largely to 90-degree heat only 2,500 spectators attended this event.[1][45][46][47][48][49][50][51]
  • June 13–14 Soldier Field hosted the 1925 NCAA Men's Track and Field Championships.[52][53] Notable competitors included DeHart Hubbard, Morgan Taylor, Glenn Hartranft, Tom Poor, Phil Northrup, Frank Potts, Clifford Ellsworth "Biff" Hoffman, and Hugo Leistner.
  • July 4 and 5 Soldier Field held its first Independence Day celebration.[1]
  • August 15–24, 1925 the Chicago Association of Commerce sponsored the 1925 Chicago Roundup, a Tex Austin-organized nine-day professional rodeo competition at Soldier Field. Vice President of the United States Charles G. Dawes at the opening ceremonies. The ceremonies were initiated with a parade of participants and officials. Among the officials was Anti-Cruelty Society director Chauncey McCormick, and among the competitors was Pete Knight. 30,000 spectators watched the opening ceremonies, and 100,000 spectators attended the two competitive events held August 15. Daily attendance averaged 70,000 for the competition, one day the combined attendance for two events was 170,000.[1]
  • September 20 Chicago's German-American community held its first annual German Day event at Soldier Field, featuring a soccer match, athletics, performances and ceremonies. The event raised funds for numerous charities. German Day events were held annually at Soldier Field until 1937, regularly drawing crowds in excess of 40,000.[1]
  • November 7 Northwestern played Michigan at Soldier Field. 70,000 tickets had been sold, but just over 40,000 spectators attended due to severely inclement weather. Northwestern won 3–2.[28]
  • November 11, the American Legion and South Park commissioners organized a commemoration of Armistice Day marking the stadium's name change from "Grant Park Municipal Stadium" to "Soldier Field". The day began the firing of guns at sunrise. At eleven in the morning, a 21-gun salute was fired in Chicago's Grant Park and people in the 'Chicago Loop' paused, men removing their hats, and held moment of silent prayer and reflection. In the afternoon, former Governor of Illinois Frank Lowden and naval officer John A. Rodgers were the guests of honor in the ceremonies held at Soldier Field. At the time Rodgers was a national hero, following his attempted nonstop flight two months earlier, and was all-over the news.[54][55][56][57][58][59] Lowden had been heavily involved in the effort to rename Soldier Field. Much like Rodgers, Lowden was also a big-name at the time. A former Illinois Congressman and Governor, Lowden had declined the Vice-Presidential nomination at the 1924 Republican National Convention,[2] a position which was taken by fellow-Illinoisan Charles G. Dawes (who ultimately would go on to win the 1924 election as Calvin Coolidge's running mate). The event at Soldier Field began with decorated war veterans escorting Gold Star Mothers to their seats, and a salute fired by field artillery. The Flag of the United States was then raised, followed with a large banner baring the words 'Soldier Field' that had been carried into the stadium by the Gold Star Mothers. This was followed with a parade led by an Army general. The parade featured sailors from the nearby Great Lakes Naval Station, Reserve Officers' Training Corps units, and various veterans groups (including the Grand Army of the Republic). Following the procession of the parade, Rodgers spoke about his attempted non-stop flight. Other speakers included South Park Board-member, and future-mayor, Edward J. Kelley. The ceremony was attended by over 20,000.[1][3][4][25][60][61][62][63][64]


  • June 21–23 the 28th International Eucharistic Congress held three days of outdoor day and evening events at Soldier Field.[1] Mass was held for a total of 500,000 gathered both in and outside of Soldier Field's gates.
  • July 4, marking the nation's sesquicentennial (150th anniversary), the Loyal Order of Moose arranged an Independence Day program for Soldier Field.[1]
  • July 27 50,000 people attended a program held by the Lutherans from the Missouri Synod to commemorate the USA's sesquicentennial.[1]
  • November 11 (Armistice Day) 10,000 spectators watched as Soldier Field hosted its first professional American football game, a match between the Chicago Bears and the Chicago Cardinals. The Bears defeated an injury-ridden Cardinals. Cardinals halfback Red Dunn breaking his leg above the ankle. The first Bears touchdown in Soldier Field History occurred second quarter when quarterback Paddy Driscoll (who incidentally had previously played for the Cardinals) threw a forty-yard pass to Duke Hanny, the game's sole touchdown. Driscoll also kicked for the extra point, and scoring a field goal later in the second period. The game benefited the construction of Rosary College, which today is known as Dominican University.[1][66][67][68]
  • November 26 the stadium was officially renamed "Soldier Field" at a free public event held at the stadium. Among those participating in the ceremony was Vice President of the United States Charles G. Dawes.[1]



Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Attendance
January 15, 1928 Swedish-American A.C. 0-4 Chicago Canadian Club Western Division, First Round
January 22, 1928 Vienna F.C. 1-0 Thistles F.C Western Division, First Round
January 22, 1928 Chicago Sparta 2-0 Olympia F.C. Western Division, First Round
February 5, 1928 Chicago Bricklayers 4-0 Buda AA Western Division, Second Round
February 26, 1928 Bricklayers 1-0 Chicago Sparta Western Division, Semifinals
April 15, 1928 Bricklayers 0-3 New York Nationals Tournament final (tiebreaker game) 15,000


  • In 1929 Soldier Field hosted its first Sokol national slet. In the USA national slets (a word for gatherings) are held every four years. The 1929 slet drew 25,000. In attendance was U.S. representative Ruth Hanna McCormick. Slets included gymnastics competitions and track and field events amongst other sports. At the 1929 slet athletes from 1,200 US Sokol organizations participated in Olympic-style individual gymnastic events. Also, in the 1929 slet 2,000 Chicago youth partook in a mass gymnastic drill timed to orchestral music.[1][116][117]
  • In 1929 Soldier Field again hosted the South Parks Marble Championship.[1][118]
  • October 19 90,000 spectators saw Notre Dame defeat Wisconsin in a 19–0.[1][27][119][120]
  • In 1929 Soldier Field held its second-ever firefighting demonstration.[1]
  • October 26 was the first time that a long-running football rivalry game between Tuskegree and Wilberforce University (both historically black colleges) was held at Soldier Field. This was second time that this rivalry was ever played. The 1929 game also provided a championship among historically black colleges. Tuskegee's star player was College Football Hall of Fame-inducted running back Ben Stevenson. The game was attended by 12,000 spectators. The game was thereafter played annually at Soldier Field until 1942, the only three exceptions being 1931 when game held at Mills Stadium in Chicago, 1932 when in place of this matchup Wilberforce played a different team at another venue in Chicago, and 1937 when the game was cancelled. After 1942 the game was moved Chicago's Comiskey Park, where it was played annually until 1949. Overall, Wilberforce recorded nine victories, Tuskegee recorded eight victories, and three games were tied in the rivalry series. The rivalry series was remembered endearingly by many in Chicago's African-American community, notably singer Lou Rawls.[1][121][122][123][124][125][126]
  • November 9 Notre Dame defeated Drake 19–7.[27][34]
  • November 16 Notre Dame defeated USC 19–12.[27][34]


Postcards depicting how Soldier Field looked in the 1930s and 40s



  • In January 1931 the Woman's Benefit Association held its annual Pageant at Soldier Field.[2][144]
  • The second Chicagoland Music Festival, held in 1931, featured John Philip Sousa.[1][127]
  • In 1931 the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus visited Soldier Field's parking lot.[1]
  • May 12 Soldier Field held its first amateur boxing event. This event was a Golden Gloves tournament sponsored by the Chicago Tribune. The tournament had outgrown its former home at the Chicago Stadium, and was moved to Soldier Field that year. The Chicago-based Golden Gloves tournament was the brain-child of Arch Ward, and was first held in 1923, before a brief state ban, and again was revived in 1928. It had begun as a local contest, but quickly became a regional Midwestern and finally a national amateur championship. In 1931 it became an international event, with the addition of international competitors, in the case of the 1931 tournament 10 young Frenchmen were invited to participate. To ensure that in the case of rain the event could be moved to the Chicago Stadium, only 21,000 tickets were sold in advance, but on the day of the fights 40,000 showed up at Soldier Field. The ring was placed in the center of Soldier Field's arena, and was surrounded by 22,000 'ringside seats' placed on a giant, slightly sloped, floor. The bouts were kicked off following a band and fireworks. In the first bout Leo Rodak defeated André Perrier for the flyweight title.[1]
  • October 10 a crowd of 65,000 Notre Dame played Northwestern to a scoreless tie.[28][29]
  • Harrison defeated Mount Carmel 44–6 in the 1931 Prep Bowl.[103][145]
  • November 28 Purdue defeated Northwestern 7-0 in a special post-season collegiate football game at Soldier Field. Proceeds of the match went to charity.[28]
Soldier Field in 1932


  • June 24 Soldier Field hosted a war show celebrating the bicentennial of George Washington's birth. The show took up residence at Soldier Field for an eleven-day run. The show was opened at 8pm with a flyover by four squadrons of fighter planes escorting a plane being flown by Amelia Earhart and painted to resemble a red and white eagle. Amelia later landed and made her way to the stadium, where she was given a gold medal and she spoke to the crowd (as well as an audience listening to a radio broadcast of the event) about her flight across the atlantic the previous year.[1][4][146][147][148]
Soldier Field (far left) and the adjacent Century of Progress World's Exposition in 1933


Sokol Festival at Soldier Field June 25, 1933
  • June 25, 1933 50,000 attended a national Sokol slet (gymnastics festival) with more than 1000 participants at Soldier Field.[153]
  • July 3 150,000 spectators attended A Romance of a People, an immensely elaborate Jewish pageant telling the history of the Jewish people, staged at Soldier Field. The event was coordinated by Meyer Weisgal. Chaim Weizmann (head of the World Zionist Organization and would later become the first President of Israel) gave a speech to open the show. The show required over 6,000 performers. The event was so successful that it was given a repeat performance a few days later at Soldier Field[1][4][154][155][156][157][158][158][159][160][161][162][163][164][165][166][167]
    • 75,000 spectators attended a repeat performance of A Romance of a People.[1][166]
  • A celebration the 300th anniversary of the first Swedish to immigrate to the United States was held at Soldier Field.[1]
Navy members with the balloon's gondola.
Balloon taking off before and audience of 44,000 at Soldier Field
  • August 3 Soldier Field held its final Chicago Golden Gloves tournament. This tournament was held in conjunction of Chicago's 1933–1934 Century of Progress World's Fair. More than 48,000 people attended the matches, despite a one-day postponement due to rain. This tournament featured participants from Ireland. The first two bouts were won by Irish participants, but the next six were won by American participants. Irish heavyweight champion Patrick Mulligan was knocked out broke his ankle during his bout. This was the last edition of the Chicago Golden Gloves to be held at Soldier Field. The tournament has been held at other Chicago venues ever-since.[1]
  • August 4 40,000 spectators witnessed the inflation of the world's largest hydrogen gas balloon in preparation for a stratospheric flight from Soldier Field by Jeannette and Auguste Piccard.[168][169][170][171]
  • August 12 Soldier Field hosted a national African American athletic meet in conjunction with the 'Negro Day' event held at the Century of Progress World's Fair. The event featured such notable athletes as Olympic gold medalists Edward Gordon and William DeHart Hubbard (the first African American to win a gold medal).[1][172][173]
  • August 12, coinciding with the Fair's Negro Day, an African American pageant entitled Epic of a Race was performed at Soldier Field. Chandler Owen, who headed the organization of Negro Day events, employed author and WJJD radio staffer Andrew Dobson as the author and theatrical producer and dance instructor Sammy Dyer as the director of the production. Carl Sandburg was consulted by Dobson on the historical accuracy of his script. Renowned actor Richard B. Harrison was the master of ceremonies for the event, which featured 1,500 performers, about 3,000 singers, music by the 8th Infantry Regiment Band, and portrayed 11 different historic episodes.[1][4]
  • The 1933 Peel Cup finals were played at Soldier Field.[1]
  • In the Summer of 1933 Soldier Field hosted the Forty-Sixth annual National Amateur Athletic Union meet. The track and field event only managed to attract just over 8,000 spectators. A commentator wrote, "Judged solely by the caliber of its athletes, (it) was one of the best in the history of the modern games", but added "By the standards of attendance....the games flopped."[1][174]
  • 85,000 spectators attended the fourth annual Chicagoland Music Festival in 1933.[175]
  • October 1 8,000 spectators saw the Chicago Bears defeat the Boston Redskins 7-0.[176]
  • October 7 Northwestern faced Iowa at Soldier Field. Northwestern lost 7-0.[28]
  • October 14 Northwestern tied Stanford in a scoreless game at Soldier Field.[28]
  • Mount Carmel defeated Harrison 7–0 in the 1933 Prep Bowl. The event was made official for the first time, being promoted by the Mayor of Chicago Edward Joseph Kelly himself.[101][102][103][177][178][179]
  • The Canadian professional soccer champion Toronto Scots played St. Louis' Stix, Baer and Fuller team, the U.S. champions, for the North American soccer title in 1933. The Scots won 2-1. This event was one of many Soldier Field sporting events that was tied-into the ongoing Worlds Fair.[1]



  • Easter of 1935 23,000 people attended the nondenominational Protestant Easter sunrise service held at Soldier Field.[1]
  • May 19, Soldier Field began its long tradition of hosting midget automobile races. Midget racing star Marshall Lewis was winner of the first race held at Soldier Field, finishing first-place in the main event. 20,000 spectators attended the event.[1][26]
  • August 1935, when the west tower of the 1933 World Fair's Sky Ride was demolished, it fell into a portion of Soldier Field's exterior walls, requiring $50,000 in repairs.[1][4]
Football signed by all of the 1933 College All-Stars


  • July 22 the Chicago Catholic Youth Organization held its first boxing tournament at Soldier Field. This was an intercity boxing meet against New York's Catholic Youth Association. The proceeds of the tournament went to the CYO Mil Fund to help feed 35,000 students in n onsecretarian summer schools run at Chicago Catholic schools.[190] The Catholic Youth Organization would hold numerous intercity and international boxing tournaments at Soldier Field over the next several years.[1]
  • September 1 76,000 saw the College All-Stars tie the Detroit Lions 7–7 in the Chicago College All-Star Game.[180][184]
  • The 1936 edition of the German Day Festival was had a greater focus on pageantry and dancing versus the sports that were the focus of previous editions.[1]
  • In 1936 national softball championships for both men and women were held at Soldier Field. The stadium's arena was big enough to hold five softball diamonds with their home plates along the west stands (on the running track). All five were used simultaneously during the day, but only three were used at the same time for night games. Teams from 40 states and Canada participated, but rain delayed the tournament so it started two days late. A game that stood out was one attended by 15,000 spectators that featured the teams from Rochester and Cleveland facing off (Rochester, led by amateur softball legend Harold "Shifty" Gears, defeated Cleveland 2–0 in that game).[1]
  • In 1936 the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus performed inside Soldier Field.[1][2]
  • 75,000 saw Austin tie Fenwick 19–19 in the 1936 Prep Bowl.[103][189][191]
  • In 1936 a game was held at Soldier Field between rival high schools Tilden and Austin was held at Soldier Field. During the game Tilden player Lou Rymkus blocked a kick and scored a touchdown. Rymkus would later refer to this as the most memorable game of his high school career.[192]
  • In late 1936 an ice rink was erected in Soldier Field.[1]
  • In 1936 the U.S. Central Ski Association held its annual ski meet at Soldier Field. They built a temporary ski jump that was 13-stories.[1][25]
  • In 1936 a Chicago-area ski group sponsored an invitational ski tournament at Soldier Field.[1]










President Franklin D. Roosevelt speaking at Soldier Field
  • In June 50,000 spectators attended a national Sokol slet held at Soldier Field.[237]
  • June 16 Orson Welles hosted a radio show at Soldier Field to benefit the Fifth War Loan Drive.[238]
  • In September 1944 the Ringling Brothers Circus performed a 14-day engagement. These were amongst the Circus' first shows after the Hartford Circus Fire in July 1944 (which had resulted in over 165 deaths and 700 injuries). Due to the fire, the performances at Soldier Field were performed in the open-air, rather than under a big top. The final Sunday attracted 14,000 spectators for the matinee performance and 8,000 for the night performance. On Labor Day 9,000 attended the afternoon performance. The Circus' final performance (which occurred on a Monday night) was attended by 4,500. Excluding additional numbers that attended a 'Bond Night', the Circus attracted 145,000 despite unfavorable weather that occurred most of the opening week.[239][240][241][242]
  • October 28 President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt made an appearance at Soldier Field, which was the only Midwestern speaking appearance he made in his last reelection campaign. This appearance was attended by over 150,000 (with at least as many people attempting to attend that were unable to gain admission).[1][2][4][25][30][243][244][245][246][247][248][249][250]
  • Tilden defeated Weber 13–7 in the 1944 Prep Bowl.[103][189][251]




  • June 15 12,622 attended a 25-lap midget car race. The first-place finisher was Ronnie Householder, the second finisher was Gus Glingbell, Sam Hanks came in third, and Teddy Duncan was fourth.[256]
  • In 1947 auto races were held nearly every weekend from June until the end of September.[1]
    • July 1947 25,000 spectators attended the first hot rod event at Soldier Field.[26]
    • A midget racing event the night of July 20 was one of the earliest at Soldier Field to be televised.[1]
    • Ted Duncan won Soldier Field's 1947 midget racing championship.[208]
    • In August 1947 auto racing events held in a single-week were attended by over spectators total.[1]
  • A rodeo competition was held at Soldier Field in July 1947 and was one of the first televised events at Soldier Field. The competition ended with its championship on July 20.[1]
  • In 1947 the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus visited Soldier Field's parking lot.[1]
  • At the same time as the circus, a General Motors car expo was held in Soldier Field's parking lot.[1]
  • In 1947 more than 20,000 watched a soccer match between a Chicago all-star team and a team provided by Hapoel. The game ended in a tie.[1]
  • August 22 105,840 saw the College All-Stars defeat the Chicago Bears 16–0 in the Chicago College All-Star Game.[1][184] The MVP was Illinois running back Claude Young.
  • Austin defeated Leo 13–12 in the 1947 Prep Bowl.[103][189][257]
  • In 1947 the Chicago Bears' annual Armed Forces Game was held at Soldier Field for the first time. The Bears'opponent was the Washington Redskins. Chicago won the game 28-0. The Armed Forces Game raised proceeds for the relief funds of the four branches of the US Armed Services, and was held annually from 1943 through 1970 (and was held at the Bears' home stadium, Wrigley Field, for a number of those years).




Gen. Douglas MacArthur addressing an audience of 50,000











Opening ceremonies of the 1959 Pan American Games. Wrestler Mario Tovar González can be seen serving as Mexico's flag bearer.


Martin Luther King, Jr. led two Chicago Freedom Movement rallies at Soldier Field


  • August 12 70,000 saw the Baltimore Colts defeat the College All-Stars 32–7 in the Chicago College All-Star Game. The MVP was Cincinnati Bearcats end Jim Leo.
  • Soldier Field hosted the 1960 Western Golden Gloves. Muhammad Ali fought in this event, and received the Outstanding Fighter trophy for his weight class.[290]
  • 93,000 spectators attended two performances of the Police show, headlined by Jack Paar. Other performers included Wimpy the Clown, an acrobat named Bettina, and Trans-World Airdevils auto stunts. Stanley R. Sarbaneck, president of the benevolent association, spoke at the event.[1]
  • Bryant Tucker won Soldier Field's 1960 stock car championship.[208]
  • Mount Carmel, coached by Tom Carey (the older brother of their quarterback Tony), defeated Taft 27–8 in the 1960 Prep Bowl. Tom Carey became one of the first individuals to both play and coach in a Prep Bowl, having won it as a quarterback exactly ten years earlier. Jim Arneberg, who was a star lineman for the 1941 and 1942 Leo teams, had previously coached the Leo Lions to a 12-0 victory over their neighborhood rival Calumet in the 1956 Prep Bowl[102][103][189][273]
















The North End of Soldier Field, which held such events as the "International Festival of Tennis" over the years


  • In 1975 the North Field of Soldier Field again held the International Festival of Tennis. Amongst the participants were Billy Martin and Roscoe Tanner (who won the tournament with a $9,000 purse). The attendance was even less than the previous year. Only 2,000 people attending the quarter finals (while at the same time 5,000 spectators watched a Chicago Sting game that was taking place in the South End of Soldier Field).[1][4]
  • The Chicago Winds of the World Football League played their only season at Soldier Field in 1975. Their only win was attended by a mere 3,502 spectators at Soldier Field, with them defeating the Portland Thunder[1]
  • The Emmet Kelly Jr. Circus, organized by Chicago Park District superintendent Edmund Kelly, performed in Soldier Field's north end for several nights beginning on June 14. Its headlining performer was Emmet Kelly Jr. playing the circus clown made famous by Emmet Kelly Sr., Wearie Willie.[1]
  • 1975 Marvin Gaye concert in the northern arena of Soldier Field.[1]
  • August 1 54,562 saw the Pittsburgh Steelers defeat the College All-Stars 21–14 in the Chicago College All-Star Game.
  • Brother Rice defeated Chicago Vocational 26–0 in the 1975 Prep Bowl.[103][189]


  • July 23 52,095 saw the Pittsburgh Steelers play the Chicago All-Stars in what would be the final Chicago College All-Star Game. The game was called late with 1:22 left in the third quarter due to heavy rain. Despite featuring stars such as Chuck Muncie, Mike Pruitt, Lee Roy Selmon, and Jackie Slater, the all-stars were hopelessly outmatched by the Pittsburgh Steelers, winners of Super Bowl X. The star quarterback for the College All-Stars was Steeler draft pick Mike Kruczek, out of Boston College. Late in the third quarter, with the Steelers leading 24–0, high winds prompted all-star coach Ara Parseghian to call time out. Fans began pouring out onto the field and sliding on the turf. With the rain getting harder, the officials ordered both teams to their locker rooms. All attempts to clear the field failed; the fans even tore down the goalposts. However, by this time the rain had become so heavy as to make the field unplayable even if order had been restored. Finally, at 11:01 pm NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle and the Tribune announced that the game had been called. The news was greeted with jeers, and numerous brawls broke out on the flooded field before order was finally restored. Joe Washington of Oklahoma was selected MVP of this final College All-Star game.[314][315] Chicago Tribune Charities had every intention of staging a 1977 game. However, with coaches increasingly unwilling to let their high draft picks play and insurance costs on the rise due to higher player salaries, the Tribune announced on December 21, 1976, that the game would be discontinued. Serving as the coach of the All-Stars was also the final coaching experience of Ara Parseghian.[316][317][318][319]
  • July 25 ZZ Top concert[27]
  • The Chicago Sting ended their 1976 postseason at the postseason at Soldier Field, with a double-overtime loss to Toronto. Toronto would subsequently win the league's championship that season.[1]
  • Chicago Vocational defeated St. Rita 13–6 in the 1976 Prep Bowl.[103][189]







Soldier Field in 1982



Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble were among the headliners of 1983's Chicago Fest
October 13, 1983 the first-ever commercial cell phone was made on a Motorola DynaTAC in Soldier Field's parking lot.




  • Loyola Academy defeated Simeon 14–12 in the 1986 Prep Bowl.[103][189]
  • November 23 Jerry Markbreit began what would be a 23-season career as an NFL referee (during which he would become one of the league's most recognizable referees) when he refereed a game between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers. In the second quarter of the game, Bears quarterback Jim McMahon was intercepted, and as he watched the proceedings downfield, Packers defensive end Charles Martin picked up McMahon and bodyslammed him shoulder-first into the AstroTurf. Martin remained hovered over an injured McMahon on one knee and taunted him until Bears offensive tackle Jimbo Covert barreled full-speed into Martin. Despite strenuous protests from Packers coach Forrest Gregg, Markbreit ejected Martin, Markbreit's first ejection as an NFL official. When describing the penalty, Markbreit stated that Martin "stuffed" McMahon into the ground. Martin was suspended for two games by NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle, the longest suspension for an on-field incident until Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was suspended five games by commissioner Roger Goodell for stomping on the face of Dallas Cowboys center Andre Gurode during an October 1, 2006 game During the game, Martin wore a "hit list" towel with the numbers of several Bears listed, including those of McMahon, running back Walter Payton, wide receiver Willie Gault, and center Jay Hilgenberg. The call was largely credited by the media and NFL executives in helping Markbreit land the assignment as the referee of Super Bowl XXI two months later.[340]
  • 1986 NFC Divisional Playoff: Washington Redskins 27, Bears 13.[27]


Soldier Field in 1988
The 'Fog Bowl'



Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Attendance Round
July 20 Poland Ruch Chorzów 1–3  United States 9,102 Semifinals
Mexico Chivas 2–1  Guatemala
July 22 Poland Ruch Chorzów 4–0  Guatemala Third Place Match
 United States 1–1 (5-3 pen) Mexico Chivas 25,102 Final





Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Spectators
June 3, 1992  United States 1–0  Portugal 10,402
June 6, 1992  United States 1–1  Italy 26,874


Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Spectators
June 13, 1993  Germany 4–3  United States 53,549


Date Time (CDT) Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Spectators
June 17, 1994 14:00  Germany 1–0  Bolivia Group C Opening Match 63,117
June 21, 1994 15:00  Germany 1–1  Spain Group C 63,113
June 26, 1994 11:30  Greece 0–4  Bulgaria Group D 63,160
June 27, 1994 15:00  Bolivia 1–3  Spain Group C 63,089
July 2, 1994 11:00  Germany 3–2  Belgium Round of 16 60,246

Numerous celebrities were in attendance for the World Cup matches at Soldier, including Plácido Domingo during the match on June 21,[1] as well as such dignitaries as US President Bill Clinton, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and Bolivian President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada at the opening match.[361]




In 1998 the MLS' Chicago Fire played their inaugural season at Soldier Field.


Date Team #1 Res. Team #2 Spectators
October 30, 1998 Columbus Crew (MLS) 1–2 (ASDET) Chicago Fire (MLS) 18,615


Date Time (CDT) Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Spectators
June 24, 1999 19:30  North Korea 1–2  Denmark Group A 65,080
June 24, 1999 17:00  Brazil 2–0  Italy Group B 65,080
June 26, 1999 18:30  Norway 4–0  Japan Group C 34,256
June 26, 1999 16:00  Ghana 0–2  Sweden Group D 34,256



Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Spectators
June 4, 2000  Republic of Ireland 2–2  Mexico 36,469
  • June 29 and 30 Dave Matthews Band concerts, with Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals and Ozomatli
  • July 20–22 Bassmaster Classic weigh-ins were held at Soldier Field. The boats used in the competition were docked nearby at Burnham Harbor. The competition took place within the Chicago-area in Lake Michigan and its connected waterways. The Bassmaster Classic is a major fishing competition, sometimes dubbed to be the "Superbowl of Fishing". Live coverage of the event was streamed online. This was the 30th edition of the competition. 45 competitors participated in the competition At the end of the competition, a closing ceremony was held at Soldier Field with performances (including Grammy-winning singer Trisha Yearwood) and fireworks. Competitor, and 1999 champion, Davy Hite, failed to defend his title in the 2000 edition. The winner of the competition was Woo Daves, who, at 54, became the oldest person to win a Bassmaster Classic title. It was Daves' 15th time competing in the Classic. Daves received a $100,000 prize. In descending order, the top six finishers were Woo Daves (Spring Grove, Virginia), Mark Rizk (Antelope, California), Shaw Grigsby Jr. (Gainesville, Florida), Rick Clunn (Ava, Missouri), Kotaro Kiriyama (Tokyo, Japan), and Norio Tanabe (Tokyo, Japan). This was the 27th consecutive (and overall) Classic that third-place finisher Rick Clunn had competed in. It was Kevin VanDam's 10th consecutive Classic, with VanDam then having managed to make the Classic every season of his ten-years in B.A.S.S. competition. This was also the Larry Nixon's 22nd, Gary Klein's 19th, Georg Cohcharn's 18th, and Ron Sheffield's 12th total Classic. The 2000 edition was considered to be one of the most challenging editions of the Bassmaster Classic. Chicago was the third northern location to host the event, with Alexandria Bay, New York City (Saint Lawrence River) and Cincinnati (Ohio River) having previously hosted the 1980 and 1983 editions, respectively.[395][396][397][398][399][400][401][402][403][404][405][406][407][408][409][410][411][412][413]
  • September 2 the Howard Bisons faced the Jackson State Tigers in the Chicago Football Classic.[383][414]
  • 2000 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final:
Miami Fusion (MLS)1–2Chicago Fire (MLS)
Wélton 90' (Report) Hristo Stoitchkov 44'
Tyrone Marshall 88' (og)
Attendance: 19,146
Referee: Kevin Stott (USA)


The XFL Chicago Enforcers play at Soldier Field
Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Spectators
September 9, 2001  United States 4–1  Germany 10,235
September 9, 2001  China PR 3–0  Japan
Overhead view of Soldier Field in 2002, during its renovation.


No events took place due to Soldier Field's renovation.[1]

Soldier Field in 2003
Soldier Field in April 2003


The Soldier Field 10 Mile has been held annually since 2004.
July 11, 2004 USA vs. Poland international-friendly


Soldier Field in 2005


Opening ceremonies of the 2006 Gay Games


Soldier Field in 2007


Date Time (CDT) Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Spectators
June 21, 2007 18:00  Canada 1–2  United States Semi-finals 50,760
June 21, 2007 18:00  United States 2–1  Mexico Final 60,000
Crowd at the AFL-CIO Working Families Vote Presidential Forum
(from left to right) Biden, Clinton, Dodd, Edwards and Kucinich during the AFL-CIO Working Families Vote Presidential Forum (Obama and Richardson, who were to the left of Biden, are not pictured)
Date Team 1 Result Team 2
July 27, 2007 Italy Reggina Calcio 1-1 Poland Wisła Kraków
July 27, 2007 Spain Sevilla FC 1-0 Mexico Club Toluca
July 29, 2007 Italy Reggina Calcio 0-2 Mexico Club Toluca
July 29, 2007 Spain Sevilla FC 0-1 Poland Wisła Kraków
The Bears playing at Soldier Field in 2008
Soldier Field in 2008


Soldier Field in 2009.
The US faces Honduras at Soldier Field during the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup.


Date Time (CDT) Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Spectators
July 23, 2009 18:00  Honduras 0–2  United States Semi-finals 55,173
June 23, 2009 21:00  Costa Rica 1–1  Mexico Semi-finals 55,173
Soldier Field configured for 360° Tour in 2009
2009 Medal of Honor Convention


Soldier Field in 2010


Soldier Field in 2011


Date Time (CDT) Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Spectators
June 12, 2011 18:00  El Salvador 6–1  Cuba Group A 62,000
June 12, 2011 20:00  Mexico 4–1  Costa Rica Group A 62,000


President Barack Obama throws a football at Soldier Field after the 2012 Chicago Summit
Soldier Field during the 2012 Chicago Summit with Coast Guard boats stationed at nearby Burnham Harbor


League Home team Score Visiting team Attendance
CCHA Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2–1 Miami Redhawks 52,051
WCHA Wisconsin Badgers 3–2 Minnesota Golden Gophers
Zedd at the 2013 edition of Spring Awakening
Date Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Spectators
July 28, 2013  United States 1–0  Panama Final 57,920
  • August 2013 Soldier Field hosted the Chicago Match Cup.[393]
  • August 8 Terrapin 5K & Music Festival
Landon Donovan competing on the US team during the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final
Soldier Field in 2014


Date Time Team #1 Res. Team #2 Spectators
July 27, 2014 17:00 (CDT) Liverpool 1–0 Olympiacos 36,17


League Home team Score Visiting team Attendance
NCHC Miami Redhawks 4–3 Western Michigan 22,751
Big 10 Wisconsin Badgers 3–2 Minnesota Golden Gophers
Zedd at the 2015 edition of Spring Awakening
Players at the 2015 Blackhawks victory rally

The first day (the 12th) featured Zedd, Eric Prydz, Martin Garrix, Duke Dumont, Paul van Dyk, Andrew Rayel, Borgore, Cosmic Gate, DJ Slink, Ilan Bluestone, Mija, Myon & Shane 54, Seven Lions, Shiba San, Slander the Floozies, Thomas Jack, Tommy Trash, A Guy Called Amir, Dani Deahl, Freak Island, Jake Terra, Kite!, Louis the Child, Mario Florek, M.O.B., Peter Kontor, PT & PT, Skyler Shores, Sleepy Pilch, and The Trap House.

The second day (the 13th) featured Hardwell, Flosstradamus, Dada Life, Zomboy, Diplo (performing both solo and alongside Skrillex as they made their midwest debut as Jack Ü), Adventure Club, Brillz, Bro Safari, Dusky, Eats Everything, Figure, Grandtheft, Headhunterz, Lane 8, Morgan Page, Nicole Moudaber, Oliver Heldens, Pegboard Nerds, Sander van Doorn, Savoy, Skream, Ummet Ozcan, Alfonz Delamota, Attak, Bucky Fargo, DJ White Owl, Fatboy, Inphinity, Kalendr, Jack Trash, Porn and Chicken, RJ Pickens, Ryan B, Stratus, Teknicolor, Xonic, and Zander.

The final day (the 14th) featured Tiesto, Afrojack, Zeds Dead, Excision, Jamie Jones, Aero Chord, Audien, Boombox, Branchez, Curtis Jones (as 'Cajmere'), Derrick Carter, DVBBS, Eva Shaw, Hucci, Justin Martin, Keys N Krates, MK, Party Favor, TJR, W&W, Yellow Claw, Antics, Delusive, DJ Nurotic, Funky Mack, Goodsex, Howie Doin, Juno Moss, Light.Em.Up, Mikho, Nathan Scott, Soultech (performing alongside Gene Ferris and Dustin Sheridan), The Pool House, Xposur, and Zerogravity.[506][507]

Soldier Field during Fare Thee Well
Date Time (CDT) Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Spectators
July 9, 2015 19:00 (18:00 CDT)  Mexico 6-0  Cuba Group C 54,126
21:30 (20:30 CDT)  Trinidad and Tobago 3-1  Cuba


Soldier Field in 2016
Soldier Field hosting the Copa América Centenario Group C Venezuela-Jamaica match.
Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Attendance Round
June 5  Jamaica 0-1  Venezuela 25,560 Group C[573]
June 7  United States 4-0  Costa Rica 39,642 Group A[574]
June 10  Argentina 5-0  Panama 53,885 Group D[575]
June 22  Colombia 0-2  Chile 55,423 Semi-finals[576]


Scheduled upcoming events[edit]





  • In 2021 Soldier Field will host Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin.[581]
  • In 2024 Soldier Field will celebrate the hundredth anniversary of its opening.

See also[edit]

List of events at Wrigley Field


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