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Kevin Warren: Bears’ “sole focus” is a new stadium

Mike Florio and Chris Simms explore why a mid-to-late first-round pick is a small price to pay for a team to scoop up Sean Payton as head coach for next season.

New Bears President and CEO Kevin Warren says there’s only one thing on his mind as he approaches his new job: Building a new stadium.

The Bears are planning to move out of Soldier Field and the city of Chicago, and into a new stadium they’ll build in the suburbs, and today Warren called that project the team’s “sole focus.”

Warren doesn’t sound like he’s going to have much involvement in how the Bears use the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL draft, or anything else having to do with the team on the field. Instead, Warren has been hired to do the necessary deals to get the Bears into a state-of-the-art facility. Warren said he envisions the Bears building the kind of stadium that can bring major events to the Chicago area 365 days a year.

Warren currently serves as the commissioner of the Big Ten, where he got to know quarterback Justin Fields, who as quarterback at Ohio State was at the forefront of a movement of Big Ten players pushing to play in 2020, when the conference at one point planned to cancel its entire season because of the pandemic. Warren said he respects Fields and considers him the kind of person a franchise can win championships with.

But for Warren, the primary focus is a stadium that may some day host a Super Bowl, rather than building a team that will play in a Super Bowl.