Weather Updates

Bears chairman George McCaskey eager for Vikings’ new digs

Updated: June 15, 2012 10:53AM

Bears chairman George McCaskey doesn’t heap too much praise on the other NFC North teams. But he’s pleased the Minnesota Vikings are on the verge of getting a new stadium, which will ensure continuity in what could vie to be the best division in the NFL.

‘‘We’re very excited for them,’’ McCaskey said Saturday from the Bears Care Gala at Soldier Field. ‘‘We’ve been through that struggle ourselves. Very excited for the Wilfs. I know it’s been some tough sledding, but it looks like it’s going to get done, and we’re happy for them.’’

Asked if he prefers the Vikings have a covered stadium, McCaskey quipped, ‘‘We’re looking forward to a better playing surface than the Metrodome, whether it’s a fixed roof or a retractable roof.’’

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has pledged to sign a $975 million stadium bill Monday. The state would be responsible for $348  million, raised through electronic pull-tabs and bingo in bars and restaurants.

In the meantime, perhaps for two seasons, the Vikings will play at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium, which is an outdoor venue.

Bears sign seven

The Bears added seven of the players who were invited to participate in the team’s rookie camp over the last three days.

Former University of Wisconsin-Whitewater quarterback Matt Blanchard heads the group. Former Illinois State tight end Brandon Venson made the list by consistently making plays during the rookie camp.

The others are receiver Joe Anderson (Texas Southern), offensive tackle Tyler Hendrickson (Concordia), guard Nick Pieschel (Central Florida), punter Ryan Quigley (Boston College) and kicker David Teggart (Connecticut).

‘‘The group of tryout guys that came here without a contract, always anxious to see what we have from those,’’ Bears coach Lovie Smith said. ‘‘A few of the guys really made us take notice.’’

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.