Bears could bolt Bourbonnais after 2011

BOURBONNAIS, Ill.—The Chicago Bears have finalized a deal to return to Olivet Nazarene University for a 10th summer of training camp in 2011, provided a lockout doesn’t have the NFL in an unthinkable work stoppage at this time next year.

But the team’s plans for training camp beyond next summer are up in the air. A team source said that the Bears are in ongoing discussions with Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill., to move training camp there beginning in 2012. Lewis is located closer to downtown Chicago and Lake Forest, where the Bears are headquartered.

However, the source was emphatic that the team was not only happy with the facilities at ONU but also the people. Lewis could offer improved facilities and a chance to draw bigger crowds, per the source. Officials from Lewis contacted the Bears first more than a year ago and the sides remain in discussions. But Lewis would have to build in order to bring the Bears in.

The club previously trained for 18 summers at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville before moving back to Illinois in 2002.

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