Travel blogger Mhde Askar is in Chicago this week, digging into the Windy City’s wealth of professional sports franchises. Chicago is a sports fan’s dream. With two Major League baseball teams and legendary franchises in basketball, football, and hockey, Chicago’s top athletes attract a worldwide fanbase.
Visitors don’t have to settle for the view from a TV screen — Chicago’s sports are meant to be experienced live. Askar breaks down how, when, and where to see the legends of Chicago sports:
THE CHICAGO CUBS. Where: Wrigley Field, Lakeview When: Late March through Late September An iconic sports franchise deserves an iconic home. The winners of the 2016 World Series have a doozy in Wrigley Field, a name practically synonymous with baseball. Tucked in the northern Lakeview neighborhood, at over 100 years old recent renovations have not diminished the majesty and history of one of America’s truly great ballparks. Don’t get overcharged for advanced tickets — the Cubbies’ schedules allow for multiple day games. Face value tickets are almost always available, and there isn’t a bad seat in the house.
THE CHICAGO WHITE SOX. Where: Guaranteed Rate Field, Bridgeport When: Late March through Late September 2005’s World Series winners, the White Sox have been around since 1901, making their home at Guaranteed Rate Field in the south side neighborhood of Bridgeport. The neighborhood is replete with taverns and tasty budget eats. A trip to see the White Sox play at the “ole ball game” is a magical day in any Amercan’s book.
THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS. Where: United Center, Near West Side When: Early October through Early April Move over, Canada … Chicago’s six-time NHL Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks are a force to be reckoned with. Avoid parking nightmares on game day by taking the special #19 United Center Express bus that commences service ninety minutes before game time.
THE CHICAGO BULLS. Where: United Center, Near West Side When: Mid October to Mid-April With six division titles, having never lost an NBA series, and producing more superstars of the sport than any other team, the Bulls are in a class by themselves. Catch the magic during the regular season at the United Center arena that they share with the Hawks. For shorter lines, skip over to the South Atrium entrance, where you have the added benefit of a photo opportunity with the commemorative statue of Michael Jordan.
THE CHICAGO BEARS. Where: Soldier Field, South Loop When: September through late January Football mania takes Chicago by storm in the fall. Seats at Soldier Field to see “da Bears” go on sale in the summer and typically sell out well in advance, so plan ahead or suffer at the hands of scalpers. Don’t the party in the parking lot — the tradition of tailgate cookouts before a Bears game is venerable bordering on mandatory.