Jim Riebandt, the Bears PA announcer for the last 38 seasons, will retire at the end of the 2019 season.
Riebandt, who has been a part of the Soldier Field experience since 1979, became the full-time PA announcer in 1982. The team will recognize him at the Bears' Week 16 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs on December 22.
"Being the public address announcer of the Chicago Bears since 1982 has been a great thrill for me," said Riebandt. "The reaction of the fans to my urging to bring the noise on defense and chant a Bears first down is especially fun. Every game I have worked in my 38 seasons has been very exciting for me."
Riebandt fondly remembers the 1985 Super Bowl run, as well as the 1988 "Fog Bowl," when the lack of visibility made his updates essential for fans and TV commentators alike.
A lawyer by trade, Riebandt came to the Bears after several seasons as the PA announcer for the DePaul University men's basketball team and continued to work for both teams over the past four decades. He was inducted into the DePaul Hall of Fame in 2006.
"For most of the time that the Bears have been at Soldier Field, Jim has been there for Bears fans," said Chairman George H. McCaskey. "He has expertly conveyed the excitement of the in-stadium experience with professionalism, and, of course, great pipes. Few others could take his signature statement – 'There's a timeout …' – and deliver it with Jim's style and timing. He'll be missed both off and '… on the field.'"