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Super Bowl in Chicago? Bears chairman George McCaskey hopeful

Updated: November 18, 2012 7:18AM

During a meeting Tuesday at a downtown hotel, NFL owners didn’t name Chicago as one of the finalists to host the 2016 or 2017 Super Bowl.

But Bears chairman George McCaskey remains hopeful and pointed to the 2014 Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey as a key for cold-weather cities.

“I don’t think they’ll consider an outdoor, cold-weather site until they see how that game goes,” McCaskey said. “It’ll be very interesting to see. I know the Mayor [Rahm Emanuel] is interested. We’ve got some challenges that have to be overcome.

“But as George Halas used to say, there are no problems, only opportunities.”

The opportunities will be daunting ones for Chicago, not only because of the weather, but because Soldier Field’s capacity doesn’t meet the league’s minimum requirement.

But cold-weather discussions will be for another time. On Tuesday, owners determined that South Florida and San Francisco are the two finalists for Super Bowl L, and that the finalist for Super Bowl LI will be the loser of those two and Houston.

Meanwhile, McCaskey said the 4-1 Bears are “off to a good start, but we got a long way to go.”

“We’ve got a division loss and a big division game coming up Monday night against the [Detroit] Lions,” he said. “We’re looking forward to it. You’ve got to make hay in your division. It’s a big game.”

So far, though, McCaskey said he has been pleased with how new general manager Phil Emery and coach Lovie Smith are doing.

“I like the leadership we’re seeing out of both Phil and Lovie,” McCaskey said. “I like the way they’ve been working well together, and so far the results have been positive.”

He isn’t getting too far ahead of himself, knowing the Bears started 7-3 before finishing 8-8 last season.

“Health is important. And depth is important, too, especially as it relates to health,” he said. “I think we’re in pretty good shape. We like the way our team has come together.”

Lastly, McCaskey said he’s proud of the way some of his players have stepped up to help the family of Chris Pettry, the Bears fan who was killed in Jacksonville.

“Just a tragic situation,” he said. “We certainly feel for the family. I’m very proud of our players and the way they’ve banded together to help out the family.

“The organization has reached out to the family, and we’re going to leave the nature of the response between the Bears and the family.”

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