BOURBONNAIS — Most latecomers to the Chicago Bears Training Camp were relegated to parking in a faraway lot Tuesday.
One visitor, though, was dropped off in a dark SUV at Gate 3. He was greeted by officials from the Bears and Olivet Nazarene University, where the camp is taking place.
It was Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who asked Bears execs about the camp.
“Super Bowl or what?” the governor said.
Thousands of spectators attended the practice.
Pritzker, a Democrat, walked up the hill along the Olivet football fields to mingle with fans, remarking, “What a way to spend the day.”
He shook the hands of a couple of men, Mark Ludvick and Andrew Leal, of Bourbonnais. They were surprised to see the governor.
“I recognized him right away,” Ludvick said in an interview afterward.
“I had to do a double take,” Leal added.
After speaking with fans, Pritzker then moved to the VIP tent, where he spoke with state Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst, R-Kankakee. She talked about the importance of the Illinois Veterans Home at Manteno.
Later, Pritzker met with representatives of the Kankakee County Convention & Visitors Bureau. The agency could see half of its budget disappear soon because Bradley wants to keep its hotel tax money, rather than give it to the bureau.
It was Pritzker’s fourth visit to Kankakee County since becoming governor in January. He has been to the Manteno veterans’ home, King Middle School in Kankakee and CSL Behring.
The billionaire governor said he was heading to Springfield and would visit the state fair, which starts Thursday.