The Chicago Cubs have brought the energy and fun of baseball to the city for over a century. Through their highs and lows, 100-year droughts and stunning victories, the Cubs are a fan-favourite to Chicagoans and worldwide.
Guide to Chicago Cubs Baseball
Although you may not be a huge baseball fan, no trip to the Windy City is complete without experiencing a Chicago Cubs Baseball game at Wrigley Field. If you’re planning your first trip to the baseball diamond or want to add some sights to your next game day, check out our top 10 tips and tricks for a great visit to Wrigley:
1: Choose how to get to Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field is located on the Northside of Chicago in the Lakeview neighbourhood, at the corner of Clark St & Addison St. Since it is in the city, it can be difficult to navigate your way to the ballpark, especially if you are a tourist and do not know the area well.
If you plan on driving to a Chicago Cubs game, leave early in advance, so traffic doesn’t make you late. Game days are hectic in Chicago, and the streets will be packed with cars, buses, pedestrians, and bikes. Once you arrive at the stadium, you can use their paid parking garages, which typically cost around $60 during the regular season or some free lots a few blocks away. Alternatively, if you really want to live like a local, some Chicago residents even rent their driveways for Cubs fans to park in! Check for signs up in neighbourhoods or local game threads to find out where the open spots are.
If you’d rather not deal with Chicago traffic, you can take public transportation to a Cubs game. Many fans from the suburbs will hop on a train to the city, get off at the Addison St. station, and then walk to Wrigley Field. If you are already in the city, you can jump on the famous Chicago “L” trains to reach your destination. The CTA Red Line stops on Addison St., right by Wrigley Field.
The final transportation option is to hire a Lyft or Uber to take you to the stadium, but this is a less popular option among locals due to the price. Although parking at Wrigley Field can be expensive, and not everyone wants to walk from a train, these options are significantly more affordable than ride shares. This is especially true if you are coming from outside the city.
2: Explore the outside of the ballpark
Once you arrive at Wrigley Field, you can’t miss the enormous red marquee outside the stadium. This iconic sign has welcomed Chicago Cubs fans for almost 90 years and is a great place to take photos with friends and family.
The marquee was first intended to boost game day ticket sales. Since there weren’t cell phones, internet, and mobile apps, fans had to arrive at the stadium early and purchase day-of-game tickets instead. This sign helped to advertise the Cubs and draw in crowds.
Today, the marquee is more than a large ticket advertisement. It is an iconic symbol of the Chicago Cubs and baseball as a whole. It is used to promote the teams’ social media pages and announce important messages, and fans can even rent it to wish someone a happy birthday or wedding anniversary.
The Chicago Cubs have also erected multiple statues around Wrigley Field to commemorate some of their greatest players and broadcasters throughout their history. These include Harry Caray, the Cubs’ announcer from 1982 to 1997, and Ernie Banks: the first African American to play for the Cubs in 1953 and is lovingly nicknamed “Mr. Cub”, among others.
If you arrive a little early at Wrigley Field, these historic parts of the stadium are worth seeking out. They are great places to take photos and learn some history about the Chicago Cubs.
3: Take a stadium tour
Once you’ve finished exploring the outside of Wrigley Field, you can purchase tickets to a pre-game stadium tour. The daily tours last 90 minutes, taking you through the stadium and onto the baseball field. The tours are led by expert tour guides who will show you some of the Cubs’ history by going behind the scenes of the stadium.
Tickets for the tour cost around $30 per person, and children under 2 get free admission. The locations on tour consist of press boxes, dugouts, and clubhouses throughout the field. If you are interested in getting a sneak peek at the ballpark, the tours are worth checking out!
4: Selecting the best seats
Like any baseball stadium, Wrigley Field hosts many areas for fans to sit and watch the game. Luckily, the field has no bad seats, so you’ll never be stuck with a horrible view!
The bleacher seats are a great place to experience your first Chicago Cubs baseball game. They go around the diamond so that you can sit behind home plate, along the baselines, or in the outfield. This is where most of the fans will be seated, and you will surely have great conversations with your neighbours.
Another seating option is on the rooftops. These seats are more expensive than the standard bleachers, but they include unlimited food and drinks, which can make up for the price difference. The rooftops also provide a stunning view of the baseball field, unlike anything the bleachers have.
No matter where you choose to sit at a Chicago Cubs baseball game, make sure to watch out for baseballs! Foul balls and home runs often make their way into the stands, and it is important to stay safe and keep your eye on the ball.
5: Grab some Chicago Cubs baseball gear
You’ll need to get some Chicago Cubs merchandise to feel at home at Wrigley Field. Many stores sell jerseys, t-shirts, and hats inside the stadium and throughout the surrounding areas of Chicago.
The Chicago Cubs wear blue or white uniforms with red and grey accents. However, they also sell speciality jerseys and merch for events, such as camo to support veterans, pink for cancer awareness, and rainbow merch to celebrate Pride.
6: Buy stadium snacks, or Bring your own
Food and drinks can be found throughout Wrigley Field. So if you are in the mood for classic Chicago-style hot dogs, deep-dish pizzas, popcorn or other stadium favourites, you will have no problem filling your cravings. The stadium also features fun desserts, such as ice cream in a baseball helmet bowl, fluffy cotton candy, and frozen lemonades.
If you are looking for alcoholic beverages, Wrigley has plenty of those too. From cold beers to frozen margaritas and cocktails, there’s bound to be something for everyone.
Stadium food can be pricey, so bring your own food in if you want to save money! Wrigley Field allows fans to bring their own food and sealed water into the park in soft-sided coolers to enjoy during Chicago Cubs baseball games.
7: How to get players’ autographs
Many fans dream of getting an autograph from their favourite player, and at Chicago Cubs baseball games, you can do just that! There are two main ways to get your merchandise signed:
The first opportunity to get some autographs is to go to the wall by the outfield dugouts before the game. Here, players will have batting practice 45 minutes before the game starts. There may be a crowd of other fans waiting for their opportunity, but be patient and wait for your chance. The Cubs’ players are typically happy to sign jerseys, t-shirts, hats, baseballs, or game programs.
The second way to secure an autograph is to wait by the players’ parking lot just north of the field after the game. This is where the Cubs will exit to go home after the game, and they’ll sign autographs for fans who go there, especially after a big win!
8: Embrace the history of Chicago Cubs baseball
Since becoming America’s first professional sports club in 1867, the Chicago Cubs have created a legacy. They have gone through tragedy, success, and everything in between, but some of the most historical pieces are inside Wrigley Field itself.
One of the most iconic parts of Wrigley Field is the ivy that covers the outfield walls. The ivy was planted in Wrigley Field in 1937 with the hopes that it would make the stadium feel more welcoming and park-like. The ivy was meant to make the field feel like an oasis for families to enjoy, in contrast with the steel from the rest of the city. Today, the ivy is still proudly growing on the walls and reminds fans that baseball is America’s favourite pastime.
Another famous aspect of Chicago Cubs baseball is the manual scoreboard in the park. It is one of only two manual scoreboards used in the Major League. It was installed in 1937 and has become a historic feature of the ballpark. True to tradition, the scoreboard is still manually operated today, showing fans the game score, stats, and scores from other games around the League.
Throughout baseball, one tradition is held no matter where you are: the 7th Inning Stretch. The game takes a brief pause between the top and bottom of the 7th inning. This allows the players to get a quick break and fans to get up from their seats.
During this time, you will find crowds singing the iconic song: “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”. The song dates back to 1908 and is sung at every stadium. At a Chicago Cubs baseball game, local celebrities can often lead the song. Some familiar celebrities to see are Chicago’s Bill Murray, John Cusack, and Vince Vaughn, who are huge Cubs fans.
9: Things to do After a Chicago Cubs baseball game
After seeing a Chicago Cubs baseball game, don’t be quick to head home! Many things to do throughout the city can make your experience even more memorable. Outside the stadium, the surrounding areas are called Wrigleyville. These blocks are full of bars, restaurants, and stores to help you keep fans’ energy up.
If you want to leave your mark on Chicago, check out the signing wall outside Wrigley Field. The tradition started after the Cubs’ World Series Win in 2016, and now fans can sign the stadium wall and leave messages or memorials.
If you’re looking for a drink or bite to eat, Wrigleyville has many sports bars where you can meet other fans and watch games from around the country. Alternatively, Chicago has great restaurants where you can sit and take in the city. From Italian to Polish or Mexican, you’ll find any food you fancy after a Chicago Cubs baseball game.
Chicago Cubs Baseball Games are Enjoyable for Everyone
Whether you’re from Illinois, travelling from abroad, or are watching your team play an away game at Wrigley Field, Chicago Cubs baseball games are a great way to spend a day in Chicago.
Once you’ve chosen your seats and gotten any ballpark food you crave, take a moment to admire the history of Chicago Cubs baseball. From the ivy walls to the iconic red, white, and blue logo, and with so many things to do and see, your time with the Chicago Cubs will be a great memory!
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