Today Guest-writer Tony Garcia reports on some galaxy shaking news coming out of Chicago… here's Tony:
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...
Okay, it was actually today. And it wasn't far away at all. In fact I was in my truck and listening to sports radio like I do every day. A story that caught my attention came across the radio waves and I've been thinking about it ever since. It's been on my mind for a few reasons, mostly because it crosses two of my passions: film and sports.
Until today I didn't know George Lucas was looking to erect a Star Wars museum. I won't try to lie to you, I'm not a huge Star Wars fan. I've seen the original three films and that's it. I respect the series and since J.J. Abrams is now attached to future Star Wars projects, I might have to catch up. Even though I'm not a fan of the empire that George built, the idea of a Star Wars museum intrigues me. I'm a sucker for old movie memorabilia, props, scripts, etc. I would be ignorant to ignore the impact that Star Wars has made on the film industry. You'll never hear me refer to someone as geek or nerd for liking Star Wars or Star Trek. We're all nerds in one way or another.
So George Lucas originally wanted to build this shrine in or near San Francisco. Makes sense since Skywalker Ranch is nearby. However, there was a report today that Mr. Lucas isn't getting exactly what he wants from the city of San Francisco and he may be forced to look elsewhere.
According to the report from my radio, that somewhere might be Chicago. Hey, I know that place! That's where I live! Now you've got my attention. But what the hell does this have to do with sports? I wondered the same thing. Why was this story making it's presence on my precious sports radio?
It turns out Chicago Mayor Rahm Emannuel has already reached out to the Lucas team to bring that museum here to the lakefront. More specifically, the lakefront right next to Soldier Field. The proposed land would take out one of Soldier Field's parking lots. Said parking lot is actually the main tailgating parking lot just south of the stadium, which many meatball Bears fans appear to be quite upset about.
There was a report in the Chicago Tribune today that claimed that Lucas would actually replace the lost stadium parking spots by building a parking garage underground and actually double the current parking capacity. Many people don't know but there are only literally a few thousand parking spots for a stadium of nearly 62,000. It's always a hassle getting to and from Soldier Field. Public transportation is a must on game day.
I'm all for the Star Wars museum coming to Chicago. My 6-year old son is actually a huge fan of the franchise. He knows more about it than I do. I would cherish taking him to a place like that just to see his face light up. I was skeptical as to why Chicago would be a destination until I read that Lucas' wife is actually from Chicago. So there are ties there.
As a crazy Bears fan I also don't want to see the tailgating parking lot turned into anything. Poor Soldier Field already looks like a spaceship crashing into the top of The Parthenon. In a perfect world we can give George a better location on the lakefront. Perhaps one of the spots that were going to be used for the 2016 Olympics that Chicago failed to snag would suffice. I'm sure there's a solution to keep fans of Star Wars and Da Bears happy. I just don't think the that piece of land is big enough to support Ditka, Cutler and Yoda. Time will tell.