By the end of 2018, the Chicago Bears and business partner Mark Mastrov plan to open a Bears-themed health club in the Chicago suburb of Vernon Hill, Illinois.
Vernon Hill trustees on Jan. 24 granted initial approval to the project called Bears Fit, a 45,000-square-foot club that will be constructed inside a vacant Sports Authority building on Townline Road. Formal approval paperwork is expected to be drafted at the next trustee meeting, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune.
If all goes according to plan, permits will be secured by July and the facility will open sometime in the fourth quarter of 2018.
“Bears Fit is for everyone, no matter how old you are, no matter what your health condition is, whether you play sports or not," Cliff Stein, vice president of football administration and general counsel for the Bears, told the Tribune. "It’s for anyone else who wants to be in shape and healthy."
Initial club blueprints feature open areas with turf space, equipment machines, meeting rooms and an official retail store. The facility may also host TV and radio sessions with Bears coaches, the Tribune reported. It is located just over three miles from Halas Hall, the Bears headquarters.
Mastrov is CEO of New Evolution Ventures (which owns UFC Gyms), is co-owner of the Sacramento Kings NBA basketball team and founded 24 Hour Fitness, which he left in 2008. He will help to provide the facility with customized equipment.
In May 2017, Mastrov partnered with the Dallas Cowboys to open a similar project, Cowboys Fit, in Dallas. The Cowboys-themed facility spans three floors and 60,000 square feet.
“We have sports science experts that will do different things like biomechanical assessments and performance analysis, injury prevention, nutritional studies, sleep studies and essentially all the recovery that professional athletes get that you don’t normally get at your ordinary fitness club,” Stein told the Tribune.
Stein noted Bears Fit would also serve as the organization's first standalone retail location outside of Soldier Field. A village report shows that the retail store portion of Bears Fit could generate approximately $500,000 in yearly revenue and $6,250 in local sales tax, the Tribune said. Non-members as well as members will be able to access the retail store.
Stein said monthly memberships would cost between $40 and $120, the Tribune said.