The Bears announced Tuesday that training camp will return to Halas Hall in 2020 and for the foreseeable future, a move that was expected after the recent renovations and massive investment made in the facility. It's a logical decision by the team, but it also marks the end of an 18-year run of training camp practices in Bourbonnais.
Training camp can be a special experience for football fans. In some cases, it's the first exposure to live football for children. In other cases, it's the closest a fan will get to their favorite player. It's an even more personal experience when training camp takes place in an intimate setting like Bourbonnais.
And it's because of these emotions and now broken traditions that some Bears fans weren't thrilled with the team's announcement. Take a look:
Bears Training Camp will no longer be held at Olivet Nazarene University. I’m sad to see the organization break an incredible tradition. Made countless memories in Bourbonnais, IL. pic.twitter.com/zjKd7d00tL— Noah Osen (@NoahOsen) January 14, 2020
I went to training camp at Halas back in the early 80’s. It was before the new facility, was ok for fans. Bourbonnais was a lot more fun. I get that the new facilities might be better suited to training though.— Vicki S (@VHSch) January 14, 2020
Disappointing. The fans access still matters for training camps. Whatever the Bears come up with it won’t have a Platteville or Bourbonnais feel. https://t.co/SUCceHRE9A— Jonathan Hood (@tweetjhood) January 14, 2020
Hopefully fans will still get the interaction with players like they had in Bourbonnais----like my son meeting the man the myth the legend!!!!! pic.twitter.com/y8ZiWA9kBr— Cerut20 (@Cerut20) January 14, 2020
Right when you think the Bears can’t find any more ways to anger fans, they move training camp from Bourbonnais to Lake Forest.— Ian Blum (@TheBluminator) January 14, 2020
I’m not surprised by this but I made a lot of memories with family and friends at Bourbonnais over the years so it’s bittersweet to see the news🐻⬇️ pic.twitter.com/1DoZEGYYIN
For families that couldn’t afford to go to an actual game, Bourbonnais was a great opportunity for parents to take their kids see their favorite team. That part is sad to me but it does make financial sense for the Bears.— Jim Gottberg (@JimGottberg) January 14, 2020
This is disappointing. Took Michael to Bourbonnais two summers ago, he LOVED everything about it. Was hoping to make it a regular thing for us. Seems like an opportunity lost to give fans an much closer look at the team, especially the kids. https://t.co/FkMVpLVqbf— Nick Moser (@NJMoser1229) January 14, 2020