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Revisiting the Chicago Bears’ First Game at Every Current NFL Stadium

How have the Chicago Bears fared in their first game at each current NFL stadium?

The NFL saw two new stadiums open their doors in 2020. In general, sports teams building new their new homes isn’t an uncommon practice anymore. These state-of-the-art structures are architectural marvels.

Over the past ten years, six new NFL stadiums opened their doors. This led to some more digging into when each team’s home venue opened. Soldier Field remains the oldest stadium in the NFL.

But the deep dive doesn’t stop there. One starts to wonder… how have the Bears fared in their first games at these respective stadiums?

Sorted by oldest to newest, here’s a flashback to the Bears’ first games at each NFL venue.

Soldier Field

Opened in 1924; Chicago, Illinois

Photo: Madison.com

Home Team: Chicago Bears
Bears’ first game: 1971 Week 1 (Inaugural game)
Opponent: Pittsburgh Steelers
Result: W, 17-15

Fun Fact: The stadium opened in 1924 but the Bears moved into their own home 47 years later. In 2003, Soldier Field underwent a massive renovation in order to modernize it.

Lambeau Field

Opened in 1957; Green Bay, Wisconsin

Home Team: Green Bay Packers
Bears’ first game: 1957 Week 1 (Inaugural game)
Opponent: Green Bay Packers
Result: L, 17-21

Fun Fact: The iconic stadium was initially called “City Stadium” but was renamed to Lambeau Field in 1965 in honor of former Packers’ head coach Curly Lambeau.

Arrowhead Stadium

Opened in 1972; Kansas City, Missouri

Home Team: Kansas City Chiefs
Bears’ first game: 1973 Week 9
Opponent: Kansas City Chiefs
Result: L, 7-19

Bills Stadium

Opened in 1973; Orchard Park, New York

Home Team: Buffalo Bills
Bears’ first game: 1974 Week 7
Opponent: Buffalo Bills
Result: L, 6-16

Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Opened in 1975; New Orleans, Louisiana

Home Team: New Orleans Saints
Bears’ first game: 1975 Week 14
Opponent: New Orleans Saints
Result: W, 42-17

Fun Fact: Hosts of seven Super Bowls including the best one of them all, Super Bowl XX. Bear Down.

Hard Rock Stadium

Opened in 1987; Miami Gardens, Florida

Home Team: Miami Dolphins
Bears’ first game: 1994 Week 11
Opponent: Miami Dolphins
Result: W, 17-14

Fun Fact: The Dolphins shared the stadium with the Marlins (MLB) from 1993-2011. The stadium was also featured in the movies Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Marley and Me, and Any Given Sunday.

TIAA Bank Field

Opened in 1995; Jacksonville, Florida

Home Team: Jacksonville Jaguars
Bears’ first game: 1995 Week 7
Opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars
Results: W, 30-27

Bank of America Stadium

Opened in 1995; Charlotte, North Carolina

Home Team: Carolina Panthers
Bears’ first game: 2002 Week 16
Opponent: Carolina Panthers
Result: L, 14-24

FedEx Field

Opened in 1997; Landover, Maryland

Home Team: Washington Football Team
Bears’ first game: 1999 Week 8
Opponent: Washington Football Team
Result: L, 22-48

Raymond James Stadium

Opened in 1998; Tampa, Florida

Photo: StadiumsOfProFootball.com

Home Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bears’ first game: 1998 Week 3 (Inaugural game)
Opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Result: L, 15-27

Fun Fact: Raymond James Stadium features a replica Pirate ship on the north end of the field.

M&T Bank Stadium

Opened in 1998; Baltimore, Maryland

Home Team: Baltimore Ravens
Bears’ first game: 2001 Week 1
Opponent: Baltimore Ravens
Result: L, 6-17

Nissan Stadium

Opened in 1999; Nashville, Tennessee

Home Team: Tennessee Titans
Bears’ first game: 2004 Week 10
Opponent: Tennessee Titans
Result: W, 19-17 OT

Fun Fact: The Bears became the second team in NFL history to win an overtime game with a safety.

FirstEnergy Stadium

Opened in 1999; Cleveland, Ohio

Home Team: Cleveland Browns
Bears’ first game: 2005 Week 5
Opponent: Cleveland Browns
Result: L, 10-20

Paul Brown Stadium

Opened in 2000; Cincinnati, Ohio

Home Team: Cincinnati Bengals
Bears’ first game: 2001 Week 6
Opponent: Cincinnati Bengals
Result: W, 24-0

Heinz Field

Opened in 2001; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Photo: Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY sports

Home Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Bears’ first game: 2005 Week 9
Opponent: Pittsburgh Steelers
Result: L, 9-21

Empower Field at Mile High

Opened in 2001; Denver, Colorado

Home Team: Denver Broncos
Bears’ first game: 2003 Week 12
Opponent: Denver Broncos
Result: W, 19-10

NRG Stadium

Opened in 2002; Houston, Texas

Home Team: Houston Texans
Bears’ first game: 2008 Week 17
Opponent: Houston Texans
Result: L, 24-31

Gillette Stadium

Opened in 2002; Foxborough, Massachusetts

Home Team: New England Patriots
Bears’ first game: 2006 Week 12
Opponent: New England Patriots
Result: L, 13-17

Ford Field

Opened in 2002; Detroit, Michigan

Home Team: Detroit Lions
Bears’ first game: 2002 Week 7
Opponent: Detroit Lions
Result: L, 20-23 OT

CenturyLink Field

Opened in 2002; Seattle, Washington

Photo: Kyle Terada/USA TODAY sports

Home Team: Seattle Seahawks
Bears’ first game: 2003 Week 7
Opponent: Seattle Seahawks
Result: L, 17-24

Lincoln Financial Field

Opened in 2003; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Home Team: Philadelphia Eagles
Bears’ first game: 2007 Week 7
Opponent: Philadelphia Eagles
Result: W, 19-16

Fun Fact: The Bears, led by Brian Griese, went on a 97-yard game-winning TD drive with no timeouts and 1:52 remaining on the clock.

State Farm Stadium

Opened in 2006; Glendale, Arizona

Home Team: Arizona Cardinals
Bears’ first game: 2006 Week 6
Opponent: Arizona Cardinals
Result: W, 24-23

Fun Fact:

Lucas Oil Stadium

Opened in 2008; Indianapolis, Indiana

Home Team: Indianapolis Colts
Bears’ first game: 2008 Week 1 (Inaugural game)
Opponent: Indianapolis Colts
Result: W, 29-13

Fun Fact: This was Matt Forte’s debut game, in which he posted 23 rushes, 123 yards, and 1 TD (50-yard run).

AT&T Stadium

Opened in 2009; Arlington, Texas

Photo: StadiumsOfProFootball.com

Home Team: Dallas Cowboys
Bears’ first game: 2010 Week 2
Opponent: Dallas Cowboys
Result: W, 27-20

MetLife Stadium

Opened in 2010; East Rutherford, New Jersey

Home Team(s): New York Giants (NFC), New York Jets (AFC)
Bears’ first game: 2010 Week 4
Opponent: New York Giants
Result: L, 3-17

Levi’s Stadium

Opened in 2014; Santa Clara, California

Home Team: San Francisco 49ers
Bears’ first game: 2014 Week 2 (Inaugural game)
Opponent: San Francisco 49ers
Result: W, 28-20

Fun Fact: The Bears erased a 20-7 49ers lead thanks to Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, and two Kyle Fuller interceptions.

U.S Bank Stadium

Opened in 2016; Minneapolis, Minnesota

Home Team: Minnesota Vikings
Bears’ first game: 2016 Week 17
Opponent: Minnesota Vikings
Result: L, 10-38

Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Opened in 2017; Atlanta, Georgia

Home Team: Atlanta Falcons
Bears’ first game: 2020 Week 3
Opponent: Atlanta Falcons
Result: W, 30-26

Fun Fact: The Bears overcame a 16-point deficit and won the game behind Nick Foles after Mitchell Trubisky was benched in the third quarter.

SoFi Stadium

Opened in 2020; Inglewood, California

Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images

Home Team(s): Los Angeles Rams (NFC), Los Angeles Chargers (AFC)
Bears’ first game: 2020 Week 7
Opponent: Los Angeles Rams
Result: L, 10-24

Allegiant Stadium

Opened in 2020; Paradise, Nevada

Photo: David Becker/AP/Shutterstock

Home Team: Las Vegas Raiders
Bears’ first game: 2027 Week TBA
Opponent: Las Vegas Raiders
Result: TBD

Fun Fact: The Bears played the Raiders in London during the 2019 season. The Raiders were the designated home team for that matchup. Chicago and Las Vegas will next play in 2023 but it will take place at Soldier Field. The Bears will get their first look at Allegiant Stadium in 2027.


Overall, the Bears hold a record of 13-16 in their stadium debuts. They’ve scored 528 points (18.2 PPG) and allowed 605 points (20.9 PPG). While the results haven’t always gone in the Bears’ favor, hopefully this was a fun exercise in the team’s history.

Who else can’t wait for 2027 in Las Vegas? Bear Down!


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