CHICAGO (AP) _ A $587 million plan to renovate Soldier Field, the home of the Chicago Bears, was approved by the city council on Wednesday.

The plans, approved by a 35-7 vote, called for the rebuilding of the stadium within Soldier Field's historic colonnades, leveling the headquarters of the Chicago Park District and creating 17 acres of new park land by replacing parking lots with underground parking.

Construction is expected to begin after the 2001 season and should be completed in time for the 2003 season.

State lawmakers approved the renovation plan in November.

The plan gives naming rights to the Bears for 30 years, allowing the team to enlist a corporate sponsor to add its name to Soldier Field. That proposal has outraged some veterans groups who say the stadium was named to honor members of the military and shouldn't be altered.

The National Football League is loaning the Bears $100 million. The team will put up an additional $100 million, funded largely by personal seat licenses sold to fans to guarantee the right to purchase season tickets.

Receipts from Chicago's 2 percent hotel-motel tax, the same funding source used to pay the bonds that financed Comiskey Park, will back $387 million in construction bonds.

The Bears have been playing at Soldier Field since 1971, but the stadium opened in 1924.