Wrigley Field Seating Guide – Best Seats, Shade + Obstructed Views

Wrigley Field Seating Guide – Best Seats, Shade + Obstructed Views

Posted by Kurt Smith

Search no more…this is your complete Wrigley Field seating guide, with all the info you need…including some more about avoiding obstructed views to how to truly do the bleachers.

As much as I love Wrigley Field, I wish I’d read what you’re about to read before I went to my first few games there. Your choice of seat matters, for reasons like proximity to Wrigley Field food stuffs, Chicago weather, and the best unobstructed view.

Apologies for any dated photos…it’s been a while. I’ll get back to Wrigley soon.

wrigley field seating upper left

Even this seat isn’t so bad, but I’ll help you pick out a better one.

So for your next Cubs game, I’m here to help. Here it is by section:

The Cubs Seating Chart – New Section And Seat Numbering
Wrigley Field Lower Level Seating – Premium, Club, Field and Terrace Seats
Wrigley Field Upper Level Seating – Upper Box and Reserved
Avoiding Obstructed Views at Wrigley
Home Of The Bums: The Wrigley Field Bleachers
Wrigley Field Standing Room Options
Finding Shade, And Other Stuff About Wrigley Field Seating

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The Cubs Seating Chart – New Section And Seat Numbering

wrigley field seating map

2015, I know. But it’s only obsolete if you squint to see the section numbers.

The Cubs website has their perfectly nice seating map, which when buying tickets shows you some nice views. Or check out this virtual map from my friends at SeatGeek (which is a great spot for finding deals on Cubs tickets, incidentally).

The Cubs have recently reconfigured the seat and section numbering at Wrigley, and this is a good thing.

The bleachers are now the 500 sections instead of 300, and the 400 and 500 upper levels are now the 300 and 400 levels, respectively. The Cubs’ comical reasoning for this was that people don’t fully appreciate the excellent view from the now 300 level. Certainly a lower first digit will convince the masses otherwise.

I’m joking. The 300 level seats truly are excellent, and are among the best upper level seats in baseball. But they aren’t any closer with the new section numbers.

Seat Renumbering

A hundred years ago, seat numbering like this seemed like a good idea. Don’t knock them – our generation contributed the DH.

With the new seat numbering, it’s now a low number at one end of a row and a high number at the other end. As you would expect. It definitely makes the seating much less confusing, especially without having seat 15 next to seat 115 in a row. Never understood that.

 

Wrigley Field Seating, Lower Level – Premium, Club, Field and Terrace

wrigley dugout box

Protective glass panels for the benefit of first row patrons only.

The American Airlines 1914 Club seats are the first three rows in Sections 13-22; the recently added Bullpen Box seats and Maker’s Mark Barrel Room seats are on the outer side of both teams’ dugouts. All of these go for a very premium price and include high end club access. If you have to ask the price…

These seats are so close to the action that you may hear dugout conversations (although ballplayers don’t usually say anything interesting). They are also so expensive that they are not likely to attract those who offer discouragement to opposing players; but should you be so inclined, the visiting team dugout is on the first base side.

bartman seat

Club seats no longer offer a sporty view of the bullpen. Nor do any other seats.

Club Box seats are the rest of the seats behind the 1914 and Bullpen Box sections. Club Box seats are more expensive between the bases, but are next to the field once you get past the Bullpen Box seats.

Club and Field Box seats heading down the foul lines begin to rise along the outfield wall; this can cause you to miss balls hit in areas close to you (which isn’t a big deal). Club Box seats are turned towards home plate as you get further out though, sparing you neck strain.

bartman seat wrigley field

The dark, ominous Bartman Seat.

I’m hearing your question. Where’s the Steve Bartman Seat?

Wikipedia says that the “Steve Bartman seat”, with the new seating configuration, is Section 2, Row 8, Seat 108. Except that the new Wrigley section numbering doesn’t have a Section 2, and plugging in the old seat number here doesn’t work either.

So quit wasting your time on Wikipedia, since this site is far more informative. If you want to sit in the Bartman seat, just go to Section 3 and ask. Every usher can point you right to it.

wrigley field seating lower

Even ushers can be distracted with a view this close.

Field Box seats are behind Club Box seats. Again, infield Field Box seats are costlier, significantly so for prime games, but the difference isn’t large for value games.

Field Boxes are separated from the Club Boxes by a walkway; in the first couple of rows this means you will have foot traffic in front of you. It’s not likely to be a big problem once the game gets going, but in early innings it can be annoying. Otherwise though, Field Box sections are great seats – close enough to the action without the “Friends of the Ricketts” price tag.

Terrace seats wrigley

Lots of empty seats…they must be playing Miami.

The Terrace is behind the Field Box seats. There is a walkway between the sections, but Terrace seats are elevated to help patrons see over pedestrians. Terrace Box seats are the first five rows; these are in front of the support poles and thusly are safe from obstructed views.

Most all Terrace Reserved sections are in the shade of the upper deck, which can be a good or bad thing here…bring a jacket. Only the seats down at the end of the foul lines are out in the open.

Terrace Reserved seats risk being close to a support pole, causing the dreaded obstructed view. Stay tuned for how to avoid that.

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Wrigley Field Seating, Upper Level – Upper Box and Reserved

wrigley field seating upper

The support poles are your friend!

Upper Box (300 level) seats are close to the field and offer a terrific bird’s eye view; many folks prefer these seats to Terrace Box seats (and they are priced nearly the same).

The press box at Wrigley is behind home plate, so there are no Upper Reserved seats there, but the eight rows of seats in front of them are a primo Wrigley Field seating choice. These are also convenient to the upper deck food court pavilion, although the Cubs have greatly improved the upper concourse situation.

wrigley support poles

Look at it this way…the 2nd baseman can’t see you either!

Upper Reserved (400 level) seats also have the problem of support poles; in this case poles hold up a roof that protects patrons from the sun and rain. Upper Reserved only has nine rows, so in Row 9 you will be all the way at the top and almost leaning against that outside fence.

The Upper Reserved sections are elevated, but there is still foot traffic in front of the first row, which can be very distracting as patrons snap photos and chat and Instagram themselves at Wrigley while you’re actually trying to watch the game. You may want to avoid Row 1 of Upper Reserved.

wrigley rooftops

Almost close enough to grab a beer from rooftop patrons.

Some more notes about the upper level. Past the bases, seating is not angled towards home, so the furthest seats require a minor neck twist—although they do offer great bleachers and Rooftop people-watching.

Word of advice here…getting to the upper level requires a long trek up several ramps (which are behind the Terrace seats) and up steep steps with no railing to get to your seat. This can be tough on the elderly and less fit among us, especially after the game when everyone is leaving. There are elevators, but getting to your Upper Reserved seats can still be rough.

wrigley field seating restrooms

Clearly, the Cubs are aware that male Cubs fans can’t last eight poles to the bathroom.

There are restrooms on the upper level, despite the horror stories some might tell you about there being none. From the walkway in the stands, if you look up you’ll see directional signs for them.

The heated restrooms, by the way, are a good place to spend a few minutes warming up on a cold Chicago evening if you can handle the social awkwardness. There are also TVs hung from the rafters in the upper level, to keep you posted on anything you might miss.

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Avoiding Obstructed Views at Wrigley

wrigley field obstructed views

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You can get really scientific about how to avoid obstructed views at Wrigley, and I’ve devoted a separate post to it, but here are some basic tips.

Terrace Reserved and Upper Reserved sections have support poles in front of them, which explains their lower price compared to the rest of the Wrigley Field seating bowl. The worst seats have “limited view” marked on the ticket, but the Cubs have a high standard for this, and the seat has to be really bad.

The Cubs also sell what they call “Terrace Reserved Preferred” seats, which are less likely to have a view problem, for a few extra bucks.

support poles wrigley field views

Ah, that’s the trick…get between the poles!

In most Terrace sections, there are 23 rows. The pole is usually at Row 6, although they are in higher numbered rows in the sections towards the outfield (where you should just shoot for a low row).

Except for down the third base line in Sections 210-215, the poles are at the end of section, so seats that are numbered between 5-12 or so should be an okay bet. In Sections 210-215, try to get low numbered seats, especially in Sections 212-213.

If all of that is too complicated, go for something between the 10th and 15th row, where the pole isn’t likely to be much of a big deal and you can still see the video boards.

cubs obstructed view

No need to see planes flying overhead in baseball.

Similarly, in the upper level, the support poles are in the first row of the Upper Reserved sections, at the end of a section. Try to avoid low-numbered, low row seats.

Again, there are only nine rows in the upper reserved sections, so chances are that there will be a pole in your sight somewhere. But with the angle of the seats, it’s usually not bad unless you’re in the first few rows directly behind them. It gets worse in outer sections, however, and you may want a seat in a higher row just in case.

scoreboard wrigley field

No, I didn’t photoshop that scoreboard into this picture. It was really there.

Aside from support poles, the highest rows in Terrace Reserved, starting at about Row 16, have the overhang blocking views of the outfield scoreboards, including the hand-operated scoreboard, which is one of the more striking visual aspects of Wrigley Field.

There is a mini scoreboard with vital info, and the Cubs have put TVs in the rafters in case you miss anything, so it’s not all bad. But given the choice, an upper level seat would likely be a better option, especially if it’s your first time at the Friendly Confines.

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Home Of The Bums: The Wrigley Field Bleachers

bleachers wrigley

Featuring the inebriated fan-catching net, to prevent broken bones and other game-delaying mishaps.

Wrigley Bleachers used to be the most inexpensive seats in the park and were packed with the venerable “Bleacher Bums”. Neither is the case anymore, but even at the inflated prices the Bleachers are still the only place to be for many fans.

The Bleacher experience can be a blast or an annoyance depending on your mindset, but there’s unquestionably no baseball experience like it. I’ve offered more guidelines for sitting in the Bleachers here, but there’s a few things you should definitely know.

bleachers cubs fans

Another reason to bring sunscreen and a cushion.

Pick Your Seat On Game Day – When I say “get here early to pick a seat”, it has a different meaning at Wrigley. For a good spot you are looking at arriving three and a half hours before gametime at the least. People get in line very early, and the first seats to be taken are the front rows of the left field seats, where folks scramble for souvenirs during batting practice.

Sneaky Pro Tip: Speaking of souvenir baseballs, if you’re looking to snag some, try looking under seats as soon as you get in to see if any have already been hit there.

wrigley field bleachers seats

Still laughing at the folks in the previous picture? Who’s laughing now!

If you can’t land these, at least stay away from the Batter’s Eye in center field, lest you lose a portion of the field to the protruding restaurant.

Aisle seats make going for a dog or a brew a little easier. For the most part, fans will gladly keep an eye on your seat during the game, provided you aren’t rooting for the other team.

Once the bleachers are full, it becomes SRO for late arrivals. The Cubs reportedly sell more tickets than there are seats for prime games, but if you get there late ask an usher if there are any seats available. You might be surprised.

Keep this in mind in October: there are heaters under the scoreboard in center field.

wrigley bleachers backless

With numbered seats for those occasional Cubs playoff runs!

Bring A Cushion – Bleacher seats are metal and backless, meaning you could be sharing your seat with your neighbor’s cheek, and you should bring a cushion on a cold day (actually, it’s not a bad idea anytime).

cubs fans best in baseball

I don’t have anything to add here.

Consider Your Fellow Fans – The bleachers are often full of hardcore party animals; meaning some people drink more than they should and do and say things that they shouldn’t. It may not always be the best place for kids, especially on weekends. Fans wearing opposing teams’ gear will take good-natured abuse at the least.

bleachers throw ball back

FORBIDDEN! Well, okay, maybe an opposing home run ball. Or an opposing team fan. But otherwise FORBIDDEN!

If you catch a home run hit by the other team, just throw it back. It’s not worth the souvenir. (Some fans keep an additional ball in their pocket to throw back just in case.)

 

Wrigley Field Standing Room Options

wrigley field seating standing room

Well, you have a nice view of the people sitting in front of you, anyway.

The Cubs say that they make a limited number of standing room tickets available on game day, which doesn’t say much. Wrigley isn’t a great place to have a standing room ticket anyway; the lower concourse area is behind the high rows of Terrace Reserved seats that have overhang view problems to begin with.

The ushers will be pretty strict about keeping you in the SRO area. Your best bet, speaking from my own experience, is the pavilion space under the press box, which features as nice a view as the Upper Box, almost.

wrigley standing room corner

It wouldn’t be too bad if you could bring a barcalounger.

There is also some standing room space on the outer edges of the upper level that isn’t terrible (some Cubs fan friends of mine tell me they love it), but it’s far from home plate and there’s nothing to lean on. Or you could try the new party areas in the bleachers (you’ll need a Bleacher ticket for that).

Wrigley is one of the tougher ballparks to poach a seat; you won’t have an easy time getting past ushers here. Chances are good you’ll get caught unless you occupy a vacant seat after the 7th inning stretch. You likely won’t get ejected, just thrown back into the concourse. But that’s embarrassing enough.

 

Finding Shade And Other Stuff About Wrigley Field Seating

wrigley field shade

In an early April evening, some savvy Cubs fans choose the “sun” spot.

No Chicago native needs to be told this, but you should always be prepared for the weather at Wrigley, and take into account where you’re sitting.

The sun sets on the third base side, so that side will have shade first for afternoon and night games and will also cool down first. In the higher rows of Field Box seats you will see some shade earlier on the third base side. To stay out of the sun, avoid the lower level seats down the right field line, and stay away from the bleachers entirely.

upper level shade wrigley

As you can see, the roof protects patrons from the sun that might actually thaw protruding body parts.

In the upper level, the roof provides shade for Upper Reserved seats especially on the third base side, but Upper Box could still see sun.

Chicago climate being what it is, you could be at Wrigley on a windy day and see people sweating in the bleachers (which are generally protected from the Lake Michigan breeze), while people in the seating bowl are bundled up trying to stay warm.

For October night games at Wrigley, fans dress extremely warmly, and with good reason. Be prepared…on a cold night you could be sitting on a metal seat for a long time.

 

There you have it my friends, your complete primer on picking a seat at Wrigley Field…compiled from my own and others experiences. Hope it helps you in your next visit.

Be sure to click here for many more great Wrigley tips!

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