(670 The Score) Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot has left open the possibility of the Bears hosting fans at Soldier Field this season.
Lightfoot had previously been critical of the Bears, saying on the Mully & Haugh Show in September there have been "real challenges" in working with the organization to form a plan to host fans at Soldier Field amid the coronavirus pandemic. At that time, she indicated the odds of allowing fans were less than 50% for this season.
On Tuesday, Lightfoot had a little more optimism in suggesting during her press briefing that the Bears could host fans in 2020, as some other teams in the NFL have done where allowed by local authorities.
"Like any other Bears fan, of course I would like to be there," Lightfoot said. "We're having conversations with the Bears. We'll see where they lead.
The state of Illinois is allowing outdoor capacities of up to 20% for venues such as Soldier Field, but the city of Chicago has denied the Bears and other local teams from hosting fans.
Each of the Bears' three NFC North rivals -- the Vikings, Packers and Lions -- haven't yet hosted fans from the public in any capacity. The Vikings have hosted spectators, with those being approximately 250 staff and family members in the organization.
Following Lightfoot's critical comments about the Bears' hopes of hosting fans, the team said in a statement that it will "continue to work closely with members of the Mayor’s staff on monitoring the environment, assessing the plan and determining the right time to bring fans back."
Lightfoot leaving open the possibility of the Bears hosting fans is a reversal from her previous comments.
"We're nowhere near at a place where we can even realistically talk about fans coming back to Soldier Field," Lightfoot said in September.
The Bears are off to a 4-1 start, sitting in second place in the NFC North behind the undefeated Packers (4-0).
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.