Bears announce abbreviated training camp viewing schedule for fans

Gene Chamberlain

The Bears not only are going downstate to Bourbonnais to start training camp in July, but they're also going back to their roots in downstate Illinois, as well.

Training camp will start with players reporting July 25, and practices beginning July 26 in Bourbonnais, the team announced on Thursday. But the Bears on July 20 and 21 will also be involved with a "Return to Decatur" event as part of the team's centennial season celebration in Decatur.

Coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace will also take part on July 21 in a press conference in Decatur.

It was in Decatur where George Halas started the franchise, then known as the Decatur Staleys as a team that played for A.E. Staley Manufacturing Co. They also were known as the Staley Football Club and Staley Starch Makers in the beginning. They moved after a year to Chicago and retained the title Staleys for one season before Halas renamed them the Bears.

The first Bourbonnais practice open to the public will be Saturday, July 27 at 8:15 a.m. The second is July 28. Both practices that weekend are at 8:15 a.m.

Players have an off day on Wednesday, July 31.

The annual Meijer Bears Family Fest practice at Soldier Field will be held Saturday, Aug. 3 at at 7 p.m.

It will be a short camp from an attendance standpoint for fans. In all, there are only eight practices in Bourbonnais open to the public.

Fans attending training camp need tickets, which are free on the team's website: There will be a charge for the Soldier Field Family Fest practice.

The final practice open to fans in Bourbonnais will be Saturday, Aug. 10 at 8:15 a.m.

Bears Training camp

Olivet Nazarene University

Bourbonnais, IL

Thursday, July 25

Players report

Friday, July 26

3 p.m. practice (Closed to public)

Saturday, July 27

8:15 a.m. practice

Sunday, July 28

8:15 a.m. practice

Monday, July 29

8:15 a.m. practice

Tuesday, July 30

9:15 a.m. practice (Closed to public)

Wednesday, July 31


Thursday, Aug. 1

8:15 a.m. practice

Friday, Aug. 2

8:15 a.m. practice

Saturday, Aug. 3

7 p.m. practice at Soldier Field

Meijer Bears Family Fest

Sunday, Aug. 4


Monday, Aug. 5

8:15 a.m. practice

Military Appreciation Day

Tuesday, Aug. 6

8:15 a.m. practice

First Responders Day

Wednesday, Aug. 7


Thursday, Aug.8

Carolina Panthers at Bears, 7 p.m. Soldier Field

Friday, Aug. 9


Saturday, Aug. 10

8:15 a.m. practice

Blue & Orange Day

Sunday, Aug. 11

8:15 a.m. practice (Closed to public)

Camp closes