Best Ways to Get to Wrigley Field | Chicago Cubs

Wrigley Field

Best Ways to Get to Wrigley Field | Chicago Cubs

Posted by Kurt Smith

Greetings baseball fans and ballpark roadtrippers! Below is your complete guide for how to get to Wrigley Field for your next Chicago Cubs game!

Wrigley Field isn’t built for people driving there. If you do, I suggest reading my separate post for Wrigley Field parking. But this guide is about public transportation, and other easier and cheaper ways to get to the home of the Cubs.

There’s a lot here, so I’m breaking it down:

From Inside Chicago: CTA Rail
Also From Inside Chicago: CTA Bus
Is Riding The CTA Safe?
From The Suburbs, Part 1: Pace Bus (+ The Wrigley Field Express, Maybe)
From The Suburbs, Part 2: Metra Rail
From Indiana: NICTD South Shore Line
From Other Cities, Part 1: Amtrak
From Other Cities, Part 2: Megabus/Greyhound
For Cubs Fan Rockers: The Reggies Rock Bus
For Exercise: Bicycling To Wrigley
For Serious Cyclists: Divvy Bikeshare
You Probably Shouldn’t…Taxicab/Rideshare

Need more help for your next Chicago Cubs game? I got ya! Check out my tips for scoring great deals on Cubs tickets, this detailed guide to finding a great seat, and this list of food options!

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Best Way To Get To Wrigley Field, #1) CTA Rail.

how to get to wrigley field addison station CTA

Yes, the Cubs logo here helps. but remember the name of the station.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) isn’t just the original name of one of classic rock’s greatest bands. It is the complex transit system that carries millions of folks throughout metropolitan Chicago.

CTA rail is a combination of subways and elevated trains with numerous long tentacles. Most of them can play a part in getting you to Wrigley Field.

Here is the breakdown on key rail lines you can use on game days:


red line addison station wrigley field

If you can find Wrigley Field in this picture, you’ll be fine.

Red Line: The CTA Red Line is the most common train used to get to Wrigley Field; the Addison Street stop is within view of the ballpark. The Red Line isn’t modern and screeches in spots, but it is ruthlessly efficient most times, and trains run 24/7. You should never have to wait more than 12 minutes for a train, and they’re more frequent during rush hour.

The Red Line is convenient for people living or staying downtown; these days people aren’t always comfortable using the parking lots at Howard or Berwyn stations. If you can find an inexpensive spot downtown near a stop (try SpotHero) though, it can be very efficient.

All other CTA lines transfer to the Red, so from just about anywhere in Chicago you can get to Wrigley with two or fewer rides. You can transfer from other lines at State/Lake, Jackson or Roosevelt (I’m told State/Lake is best to use). The transfer is free, but you will still need to run your transit card or pass through a turnstile.


cta red line addison station

Here come Cubs fans. Platform is about to get very crowded.

Cubs fans are packed on the Red Line starting about an hour before game time. It makes it easy to find the ballpark, but not always fun to ride the train. One nice thing is that the Sheridan and Belmont stations (north and south of Addison, respectively) aren’t a long walk at all. You can exit the train early and walk past some cool Wrigleyville establishments on the way, like Byron’s Hot Dogs.

Similarly, after the game you can get on a southbound train at Sheridan and have a better chance at landing a seat before the Wrigley crowd shoehorns its way in. Or you can head to one of the many Wrigleyville joints, and wait for the train-riding crowd to thin out (although the Cubby Bear will be crowded too). If you plan to brave the crowd, it’s a good idea to have your return trip ticket beforehand.

If you do want to jump on after the game, exit out of right field, which is closer to the station than the home plate entrance.

The Red Line runs under State Street, in case you’re downtown looking for a station.


best way to get to Wrigley field blue line

Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time, but you probably don’t want to walk it from here.

Blue Line: The Blue Line runs from O’Hare airport to the downtown Loop area (so named because most downtown trains loop around it). If you’re coming from O’Hare or somewhere nearby, exit at the Addison station (not to be confused with the Red or Brown Line’s Addison stations–all are different stations) and then hop on the #152 Addison bus to Wrigley Field.

The CTA calls the #152 bus the Wrigley Express, not to be confused with the Pace Wrigley Express, which I’ll discuss shortly.

If you’re visiting Chicago and staying near O’Hare, the Blue Line has several park-and-rides towards that end of the line. They’re generally inexpensive and safe. Cumberland Station has a large garage and nearly always has spaces available. Or your hotel may be able to shuttle you to the airport/Blue Line. Do NOT park at the O’Hare Station though, unless you like paying more to park than you did for your car.


best way to get to wrigley field irving park station

Get some exercise and a Wrigleyville dog, and ride a less crowded bus!

If you want an alternative to the crowded #152 bus, you can exit the Blue Line at Irving Park station, and use the #80 Irving Park Road (IL Route 19) bus. Then hop off at Sheridan Avenue for a four block walk south to Wrigley (past Wrigleysville Dogs!).

Sheridan turns into Sheffield Avenue south of Byron St. Chicago has special lanes on Irving Park Road westbound for post-game traffic, so this should also be an easier way out. I’ve done this and preferred it to the #152.

If the #152 bus isn’t available to go back (it should be), you can use the Red Line to Lake Street and transfer for free to the Blue Line. Long ride, this, but both the Red and Blue lines run all night.


addison brown line to cubs game cta

Yes, this is yet another Addison Street station. The CTA likes to keep it simple.

Brown Line: The Brown Line runs from the Kimball Avenue station to the Loop. The Southport and Belmont stations are both about a 10-15 minute walk to Wrigley, but the Brown Line is far less congested than the Red. This means you will probably have a seat for most of the way–a nice thing to know if you’re coming from downtown.

I like the Brown Line. It gets close enough to Wrigley for me, especially since Belmont Station is steps from Ann Sather’s amazing cinnamon buns. The Brown ride is smoother, but it does not run as frequently as the Red Line. North of the Irving Park station, you may be able to find cheap or even free street parking.

Remember the Addison stop on the Brown Line is not the Wrigley station, but it’s only about a mile walk along Addison to the ballpark should you find yourself there. You can also use the #152 bus to or from if need be, but it will be crowded at that point.

The only drawback of the Brown Line, other than a longer walk, is that it doesn’t run all night, although it should go late enough for you.


cta yellow line to cubs game skokie

It’s not that the train is any “swifter”. It just makes fewer stops.

Yellow Line: The Yellow Line (a.k.a. the “Skokie Swift”) runs from Skokie nonstop to the Howard Station, where you can transfer to the Red or Purple Lines. This isn’t a bad option if coming from the north on I-94 (referred to as the Edens Expressway). You can park at Dempster-Skokie station, where there is inexpensive and ample parking, and use the Yellow Line to the Red or Purple Line with just one stop.

The CTA runs extra Yellow service for evening games, so you have until about midnight to get to the Howard Station, later if it’s a big game. If you miss the last Yellow Line train, you can take a Purple Line to Davis Street and use the #97 bus to get to Skokie.

I’ll talk more about safety on the CTA, but I will say here that the Howard Station is not spoken highly of by many people. Stay tuned.


best way to get to wrigley Field purple line cta

Belmont Station is just a few blocks from Wrigley, and even closer to Ann Sather’s!

Purple Line: The Purple Line is a rush hour express line that generally follows the route of the Red Line from the Howard station to the Loop. Southbound trains stop at Sheridan station for weeknight games, which is about three blocks from Wrigley. If the Purple doesn’t stop at Sheridan, you can get off at Belmont and walk it as described. (You can also transfer to the Red at Belmont, but it will be crowded.)

The Purple Line is a better alternative to the Red Line if it’s available and convenient for you. It is less likely to be crowded and it doesn’t make any other stops between Howard and Sheridan, while the Red Line stops at close to ten stations and moves fairly slowly in the area. As stated, the Purple Line has extra service for weeknight games.

Another nice thing about the Purple Line is that it extends to Evanston, which according to a Chicago resident friend of mine is a fairly nice place to stay if you’re visiting, and there is cheap or even free parking near the station. The Linden station also has a cheap lot with 300 spaces.

The CTA website lists all of the L stations that have a park-and-ride and their costs to park there. Most charge a small fee for 12 hours. The only station on the Red Line with a park-and-ride is Howard on the northern end of the line; I wouldn’t recommend using that at night.


Best Way To Get To Wrigley Field, #2) CTA Bus.

best way to get to wrigley field express bus cta

This is something every thrifty baseball fan should know about.

Not only is Wrigley served by the venerable Red Line; there are numerous ways to get there by CTA bus. Few areas of Chicago are more than two bus rides away from Wrigley Field.

First, the Cubs actually offer free remote parking and free shuttle service to the game and back from 3900 N. Rockwell Street. Yes, you read that right. So if you are driving and looking to go cheap it’s a great option. A free ride attracts everyone though, so prepare for a crowded bus and get to the lot early. Buses start two hours before first pitch.

Other bus routes that run to Wrigley Field are the #8 Halstead, the #22 Clark, and the #152 Addison. The #22 runs all day and night, the #8 runs till shortly after midnight. The CTA added more and longer buses to the #152 route, and there is additional service for the #152 and #80 after big games. Good to know, because buses take a while to board.

The #22 follows a similar route to the Red Line and goes into downtown where you can pick up most other L train lines, so it makes a viable alternative to the Red Line if you prefer buses, but it gets crowded after the game as well. Expect it to be much slower than the Red Line.


Irving Park Road Bus CTA cubs game

There’s extra lanes on Irving Park Road. Just saying.

If you’d like to avoid the crowds on buses and don’t mind walking a bit, you can try several other bus routes that drop riders off a few blocks away from Wrigley. The aforementioned #80 on Irving Park Road is one example. Some of these don’t run late in the evening though, so check the schedule for night games.

Remember that buses have to deal with city traffic (there are dedicated bus lanes on some streets), but at least you’re not the one fuming behind the wheel and you can enjoy seeing the city.

You can ride the CTA buses with a Ventra card or pass; do that instead of going through the hassle of exact change that buses require.


Is Riding The CTA Safe For Chicago Cubs Games?

is it safe to use the cta for cubs games

Yes, danger from high voltage tracks is a thing. But if you don’t step on a third rail you’ll probably be fine.

Whether or not you can safely ride the CTA to Wrigley for a Cubs game is a popular topic these days. Crime in Chicago did rise significantly since the pandemic, and the CTA and Red Line aren’t immune.

Overall, I will tell you that statistically, the chances of something really bad happening to you using the train are extremely small. The CTA has increased security both on trains and at stations, and they make the point here that the level of crime is actually very low, given the large number of people that ride the CTA each day.

However, I won’t tell you that it’s completely, totally 1,000% safe and nothing will ever ever happen. Some folks in forums have told stories about being mugged at the Howard Station. Others advise not to use the Red Line south of Sox-35th or even Jackson Station at night.

That said, there are plenty of natives who ride the CTA every day and believe the danger is overblown (and driven by politics, which can always be a factor). They will also point out to you that statistically, you take a bigger risk driving your car.


is riding the cta safe wrigley field

You might not want to stand in front of a bus either, but that applies to any transit service.

So here is my advice. If you are staying in downtown Chicago or in that area, with all of the Cubs fans riding the train, you should be just fine using the Red Line. If you’re staying near O’Hare, and you use the Blue Line/#152 combo and park at one of the outer stations, that should be safe too. Just keep your wits about you. I shouldn’t need to say it, but don’t leave valuables in full view in your car.

Mostly, you might see or smell some unpleasant things, which I concede isn’t fun. Your biggest concern is mostly pickpockets on a crowded train, so tuck away your stuff. Also, don’t use a visibly empty car on the train.

If it concerns you enough to drive your car, book your spot with my friends at SpotHero. They’re fantastic, and can help you find a decent spot near the ballpark at a not-so-outrageous price.

For myself, I have never personally had a problem riding CTA trains or buses in my visits to Chicago. I’ve found it to be a very useful if not always pleasant transit system, especially for Cubs and Sox games. But I’m a big dude, and I haven’t used the CTA since the pandemic, so take that for what it’s worth.

NEVER drive to Wrigley Field without a plan…

Book your Cubs parking spot now with SpotHero!


Best Way To Get To Wrigley Field, #3) Pace Bus.

best way to get to wrigley field pace bus

In case they ever return, they’re nicely decorated!

As this sentence was written, Pace Bus has suspended their excellent Wrigley Field Express service, apparently because they need to find people to drive the buses post-pandemic. That could, and hopefully will, change, so I’m leaving this bit in the post. You can check with Pace before your trip.

Anyway, Pace is the bus service extending to the Chicago suburbs. Their Wrigley Express buses are (sorry, were) even neatly decorated to leave no doubt of their purpose.

The Wrigley Express runs (sorry, ran) from two locations, the Northwest Transportation Center (Route 282) in Schaumburg and Yorktown Center (Route 779) in Lombard. You can park there for free and ride the Express bus very cheaply each way. The Pace Express bus runs for all games June through August and for evening and weekend games for the rest of the season, but they don’t usually provide service for playoff games.


pace bus wrigley field express

If they bring it back, it’s great, trust me.

Pace provides schedules on their site; generally buses leave two hours before the game. Be sure to grab the right Express bus on the way back. Buses going to Yorktown leave from Clark Street north of Waveland, while buses heading to Schaumburg will leave from Clark south of Waveland. So Schaumburg = South, if you use alliteration as a memory tool.

The pickup area will be the same spot where you are dropped off. There are usually six buses, but they leave 30 minutes after the game, so don’t dawdle on the way out.

Aside from the Wrigley Express, other Pace buses connect with a CTA bus route or train station. You can get a multi-ride Ventra pass good for both Pace and CTA if you’re staying in the area, but passes are not fully valid for the Wrigley Express; you need to come up with a couple extra bucks.


pace bus to wrigley field

It’s also good just for getting to Chicago, just saying.

Pace lists locations of park-and-rides on their website. Most locations are free to park; the ones that do charge are cheap. You need exact change (dollar bills will work) to ride a Pace Bus.

I haven’t used the Wrigley Express, but I did use the White Sox version and I loved it. It’s crazy cheap, a pleasant ride, and you can meet fellow fans on the bus. It’s a great time.

About Ventra: it’s a loaded value app or card that you can use to ride CTA, Metra or Pace vehicles. To use it, you hold your phone to a reader at the station or bus. You can get a 1-day, 3-day or 7-day pass loaded onto it. You’re allowed to share a pass with loaded value but not a day pass.


Best Way To Get To Wrigley Field, #4) Metra Rail.

best ways to get to wrigley field metra

Chicago is a city of skyscrapers and train tracks.

Like the Pace buses, Metra rail trains are geared towards suburban Chicago commuters, but they are perfectly viable for getting to Wrigley Field, especially since the Cubs play a lot of weekday games. Metra has 12 lines that head into downtown Chicago from all directions, all of them ending somewhere in the Loop near a Red Line station.

On their website, the Cubs also explain how to use Metra trains from every different locale. Some of them involve bus rides, so be sure to check the schedule of those too. And check your app for maps, because sometimes you can find an easier route, if you don’t mind walking a couple of blocks.

For example, coming from the south, the Cubs suggest using the Rock Island Line and then getting on the Brown Line at LaSalle and then transferring to the Red Line at Fullerton. In fact you can walk a block north on State Street and get on the Red Line at the Jackson Station, saving a transfer.

From Union Station, you can also use the #151 Sheridan Avenue bus, which takes you straight to Lake Shore and Addison, a short walk to Wrigley. It takes a while, but it’s good for tourists who want to actually see Chicago. This bus runs “owl” service at night, so it’s good for getting back too.

Or you can take a short walk south to the Clinton Station of the Blue Line, or east to the Quincy/Wells Station and the Brown or Purple Lines. The latter is a nicer walk and more convenient, but both ways require a transfer to the Red Line.


metra to cubs game

Stay in the comfort of indoors as your train whizzes by!

Metra runs frequently during rush hours, but otherwise they are quite infrequent, arriving on about an hourly basis, and they don’t usually schedule extra service for Cubs games. If you use Metra, check the schedule of the line beforehand so you aren’t sitting in the station too long and get there on time.

You can use Metra for a night game, but the last trains leave Chicago a little after midnight, so don‘t party too late. Remember to figure in the time getting to the Metra station from the Red Line; usually 20-25 minutes.

Metra fares are broken down by zones; each zone you pass through will add to your fare. Chicago offers a trip planner that will show you the cost.

Metra is well regarded; it is fast and efficient and you are even permitted to drink alcohol on the train. The transfers can make for a long ride, though.


cta park and ride cumberland station

You probably won’t park at Wrigley this cheap. Just saying.

Finally, here’s a few “tightwad tips” for saving money on Chicago transit:

$CTA, Pace and Metra all offer discounts for disabled riders, students and children. Low income seniors and active military personnel can ride CTA for free. If you or someone joining you falls under these categories (and you owe a game at Wrigley to military folk that you know), have a look on their websites for reduced fare information. Or you can look for specials at the RTA website, which covers all three entities.

$Groupon has occasional deals on passes; the last time I looked a 3-day pass that normally costs $20 was going for $9; great for visiting Chicago. You have to catch it at the right time though.

$ – Metra offers other types of discounts as well. Kids can ride free on Metra on weekends, and you can get a weekend pass for unlimited rides. It’s a lot of bang for your buck if you’re some distance away. You can also get group discounts on Metra, which may turn out to be easier than finding someone willing to drive a bus through Wrigleyville.


Best Way To Get To Wrigley Field, #5) South Shore Line.

south shore line to wrigley field

It’s a big hit with the college kids.

The NICTD (Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District) South Shore Line runs Indiana commuters as far east as South Bend to downtown Chicago, in case Notre Dame students decide to go see a Cubs game.

The South Shore Line ends at Millennium Station in Chicago, which is a short walk on Randolph Street to the Lake Station on the Red Line. It’s also close to the Washington/Wabash and State/Lake stations on the Brown Line.

Fares on NICTD are in relation to distance, similar to Metra, and are reasonable. Parking is available at some stations, but it fills up quickly.

I found this about extra service for playoff games, so clearly people use the service for Cubs games. But check and make sure you’ll be able to get back to your starting point.

South Shore Line trains run till a little past midnight, so you should be okay using it if you don’t hang out too late, but they are infrequent in the evening and you could be waiting a while for one. Remember South Bend is in a different time zone too.


Best Way To Get To Wrigley Field, #6) Amtrak.

amtrak to cubs game

Thanks, can you tell me where Ann Sather’s is?

If you’re coming into Chicago on Amtrak, the train will drop you off at Union Station; from there you can follow the steps listed in the Metra section or take a #151 Sheridan bus to the ballpark.

Coming from Milwaukee, or other Wisconsin points between the two cities, Amtrak runs a daily commuter train called the Hiawatha, which can get you from the Milwaukee Intermodal Station downtown to Union Station in about 90 minutes. It’s not the cheapest ride, but it’s very comfortable, features at-seat cart service, and saves you mucho traffic trouble. Great for visiting Milwaukee Brewers fans.

The Hiawatha unfortunately doesn’t run late enough in the evening to make it viable for night games, but it’s a cool and fast way to get to a day game if you have the means.


Best Way To Get To Wrigley Field, #7) Megabus/Greyhound.

megabus to cubs game

Sure, he’s missing legs. But he has a trustworthy face.

Megabus is a very low cost bus service that runs from numerous cities in the U.S. and Canada, so if you’re coming from a nearby metropolis like Milwaukee or Detroit, it’s worth checking out the Megabus site for the schedules. Tickets can be as cheap as $1 if your timing is right.

The buses are nicely maintained and have free Wi-Fi among other life pleasures. Megabus drops riders off in Chicago at Union Station, where it’s a short train ride or two to a hotel or just to Wrigley.

The Greyhound station is at 630 West Harrison Street; this is about a mile from the closest Red Line station at LaSalle Street. The Clinton Blue Line Station is closer, but with the #152 bus that’s a lot of transfers. Megabus seems to be going downhill in service lately, but Greyhound isn’t very convenient for going to Wrigley.


Best Way To Get To Wrigley Field, #8) Reggies Rock Bus.

reggies live chicago cubs games

You really should be seen getting off of this bus. (image courtesy of Reggies Live)

If you want to include live music or a meal with your Cubs outing, check out Reggies Rock Club. They offer packages for Cubs (and White Sox) games that include a bleacher ticket, a pre-game buffet, and a ride to the game on the wicked cool looking Rock Bus. All at a very reasonable price.

Reggies is on State Street close to the Red Line Chinatown Station; there is metered street parking nearby. Even including parking it’s a great deal, and Reggies is a happening live music joint. Great for rocker Cub fans. (And isn’t that all of us?)


Best Way To Get To Wrigley Field, #9) Bicycle.

bicycle valet wrigley field

The best part is there’s burritos just steps away!

Bicycling can be a viable choice to get to the Friendly Confines, for several reasons. First and foremost is the Cubs’ free cyclist-friendly valet, located near the Red Line station. The bike check guys take your bike and give you a number as if it were a coat. No lock needed. It opens three hours before the game and they will keep an eye on your bike for an hour after the game.

You can leave your helmet with them too, even though the Cubs will let you store it under your seat. You’d look pretty silly or like an overly serious fan wearing a helmet at a ballgame anyway. Be sure to tip the gentlemen watching your bike.

There are other racks around the ballpark if the valet is full or if you don’t feel like tipping; Sheffield Avenue has a few. I expect with so many people in the area on game day, you probably wouldn’t have to worry about it if you secure it properly.


how to get to wrigley field bicycle

You probably don’t want to bring your bicycle onto a train.

The city of Chicago offers bicycle maps here on their website. They look to me like they’re for serious cyclists, but maybe they’ll help you find an easy route to the Friendly Confines.

CTA and Pace buses are equipped with bicycle racks on the front end. CTA and Metra trains allow you to carry your bike onto the train during non-rush-hour periods, but if you’re using the Red Line to get to the game it will be difficult. On the Blue Line, cars that accommodate bikes have a green sticker on them. Most CTA stations have sheltered racks to lock your bike.


Best Way To Get To Wrigley Field, #10) Divvy Bikeshare.

how to get to wrigley field bikeshare

“Race you to Wrigley!”

Divvy Bikeshare is a bicycle-sharing service that maintains bikes and stations throughout Chicago. They have two locations in opposite corners at Wrigley; one at Clark and Waveland and another at the Addison Red Line station.  For big games, Divvy may have a valet service at Sheffield and Waveland, and they’ll park the bike at another station for you.

Divvy members (or you can get a day pass) can pick up a bike at a station and bring it to another station. Stations are monitored so that they’re never too empty or too full, and you can check bicycle availability on their website/app. It’s another option for getting to the game that doesn’t involve crowded trains or parking fees. Technology rocks.

The best part is that both of the Wrigley stations include eBikes. If you’re a member you can cruise through town wherever you’re going back without expending too much energy after those Wrigley nachos. Divvy is literally everywhere in Chicago and even Evanston, so you should be able to get where you need to go.


Not So Great Way To Get To Wrigley Field, #11) Taxicab/Rideshare.

best ways to get to wrigley field rideshare

Here’s a good spot to call for an Uber.

Finally, if you decide to take a taxi or rideshare after the game, walk a few blocks in the direction you intend to go before trying to hail one in the crowd. (Even the Cubs recommend this.) Look for one that is heading towards the ballpark and is less likely to be carrying passengers.

Both Lyft and Uber charge more for heavy usage times, and that would include a Cubs game. Uber once listed Wrigley as its #1 Illinois travel destination, so it’s a popular way to get there, but it won’t be cheap.

After the game you can find lots of cabs near the Sports Corner tavern, but there are a lot of pedestrians in that spot too, so if you do flag one down you could be waiting a while with the meter running. It’s a good idea to move a couple of blocks away from the ballpark before hailing a taxi or calling a rideshare. Or you could wait at Murphy’s for the crowd to thin out.

Rideshares are better options than your basic cab companies for Wrigley. You can book a ride with your smartphone, and their services have designated dropoff points. If you haven’t yet, hold off on installing the Lyft app; when you sign up they’ll give you discounts on your first few rides.

That said, unless you have the means, I’d use the train or another method to get to or from Wrigley.


how to get to wrigley field chicago cubs game

You’re here! Glad I could help. Want to know what to eat now?

There you go my friends, all of the cool and economical ways to get to the home of the Chicago Cubs without using a car. I hope this helps, feel free to drop me a line if you have a question.

First time Wrigley visitor? Lots more for you to know if you’re heading to Wrigley for a baseball game. Check out my detailed seating guide, this overview of the food at Wrigley, and this excellent primer for finding deals on Cubs tickets. Oh, and be sure to check out my Guaranteed Rate Field tips too!

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10 Ways To Buy Cheap Chicago Cubs Tickets | Wrigley Field

Posted by Kurt Smith

Whether you’re going to your first Cubs game at Wrigley Field, or you’re a Cubs fan regular, it’s always a challenge to find cheap Chicago Cubs tickets. Actually, maybe “cheap” isn’t the right word. Cubs tix are often among the most expensive in baseball, so I’m here to help you find the best deal, and save money on your next visit to the Friendly Confines.

(Plenty more great Wrigley Field tips on this site…check out my complete seating guide, what you can eat at Wrigley, the best ways to get there, and this useful parking guide. More coming!)

Saving money on Cubs tickets takes some effort. You should plan ahead, know your ticket avenues, and be patient. I’m going to list all of your options for buying tickets here, and a few strategies to use, all of which have their own merits.

It’s a lot, so I’ll break this down for you.

The Chicago Cubs Website
The Wrigley Field Box Office
Third Party Sites
Ticket Agencies
Facebook Forums/Craigslist/Scalpers
Choose The Right Game + Opponent
Wait Till The Last Minute, Maybe
Use That Weather
Bring Your Friends
Use The Cheap Seats

So read through this post, know your options, plan ahead, and shop around. Let’s get started after this quick and applicable word from our sponsor

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cheap chicago cubs tickets wrigley field

Unfortunately I can’t help you pay 2015 prices for Cubs tickets. But trust me anyway.

Cheap Chicago Cubs Tickets, Tip #1) The Cubs Website. The team website is your first and easiest option, but it’s not always the cheapest of course. The Cubs do not sell paper tickets; you’ll need the MLB Ballpark App to access them.

The Cubs apply “dynamic pricing” to ticket prices, meaning prices rise and drop by demand. They have a very nice virtual map of the ballpark on their site, and you can click on the seating and pricing chart to see ticket prices for every section.

When buying tickets, you can also enter the opponent you’d like to see, the section you’d like to sit in and the day of the week you can go, and the Cubs will show you all of your available options. This is quite helpful for reasons I’ll explain.

The most important advice I can give you for finding deals on Cubs tickets is to sign up for the Cubs’ ticket alert emails. The Cubs will let you know what day regular season tickets go on sale (a very important thing to know), and what sort of bargain nights they’ll have. In addition, if tickets for an upcoming game get released, you’ll be the first to know.

It doesn’t hurt to follow the team on Facebook or X (Twitter) either; sometimes the Cubs offer exclusive deals on X especially.


cubs social media ticket deals

Or wherever you get your important news!

Knowing when tickets go on sale for the season is very useful…on occasion the Cubs will have pre-sales exclusive to email subscribers, where you can get high demand tickets at face value, which is often the best price for such games. Incidentally, the Cubs only accepted MasterCard for pre-sales in the past, so I would order one if you don’t have one.

Should I mention that you should already have an MLB account before you order? I didn’t think so. You can also order tickets by phone (!), but you’ll still be paying all of the fees.

One last piece of advice, and this applies to any outlet you use…always go all the way to the checkout screen to see what you’re really paying for Cubs tickets. There isn’t just fees, there’s a Chicago “entertainment tax” too (sigh), and the fees can be very different in the final price.


chicago cubs box office cheap wrigley field tickets

Even in the early days of Cubs baseball, there were “fees”.

Cheap Chicago Cubs Tickets, Tip #2) The Wrigley Field Box Office. If the Cubs box office is where it was in my last visit, it’s on Clark Street north of the iconic Wrigley marquee. As I write this, it’s open from 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM on weekdays, and 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM on weekends. They also open two hours before each game.

You need a credit/debit card, no cash. Since tickets are paperless, the Cubs will be putting them on your Ballpark app. They’re very helpful and will show you how to do it.

The Cubs don’t charge the service fees at the box office, so if you’re going to pay face price you might as well try at the box office, especially when tickets first go on sale. It’s good if there’s still tickets left for a high demand game, but you’d do well to check the third parties first.

But remember, there will be fees with the third parties too. Compare with the Cubs website, and remember, go to the checkout screen on both. You will still pay that Chicago entertainment tax at the box office.

In other words, if you’re already at the ballpark, and the Cubs are offering the best or close to the best deal online for tickets, go to the box office rather than buying online. You’ll save yourself the considerable fees.

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If you can’t find the trailer, just go online!

Cheap Chicago Cubs Tickets, Tip #3) Third Party Sellers. The Cubs allow season ticket holders to sell their extras on SeatGeek, so in theory that should be the first third party site for you to try when searching for the best price on Cubs tickets.

In reality, you can find Cubs tickets on a variety of third party outlets like StubHub and Vivid Seats. My favorite is Gametime (full disclosure: they’re my affiliate), because they very often have the best deals, they curate all of their best offers, and they’re fantastic for last minute tickets, which I’ll talk about in a bit.

Here’s a pro tip buying from third parties: remember bleacher seats are general admission (except in the postseason), so you don’t need to buy the exact quantity. If you’re looking for four tickets, try searching for the best deals on two or even one ticket and use a combination of them.

The policy of when third party sites must stop selling tickets changes frequently, but currently you can buy them right up until game time, which is the best time for great deals. I would check the policy though; sometimes it’s two hours before game time, and it’s been as much as five hours.

I’ll talk more about it in a bit, but buying as close to game time as possible is usually when you find the lowest prices on third party sites.

Remember, go to the checkout screen to see the actual price!

box office ticket agency wrigley field

You can just call on the phone too.

Cheap Chicago Cubs Tickets, Tip #4) Wrigleyville Ticket Agencies. Ah, the ticket agencies…they were once a fixture in Wrigleyville. Many of them closed up their brick and mortar stores when Cubs tickets went electronic.

However, many of them are still selling Cubs tickets, and you might actually find some sweet deals through them. A few of them are: TicketsAlways (a.k.a. Box Office Tickets), Gold Coast Tickets, Ticket Chest, and Sitclose.

I reached out to a few of them to ask about their process these days. Steve Buzil at Sitclose got back to me and explained it. Sitclose carries a stock of tickets, and will put the tickets on your Ballpark app for you.

Buzil told me that this can actually be your best route for finding Cubs ticket deals…many of his clients are corporate entities who buy tickets in groups, so Sitclose has built a reputation that way. I’m not sure about the rest of the agencies, but Buzil assured me that Sitclose won’t be undersold, so there you go.


ticket agencies cheap chicago cubs tickets

Serving Cubs fans since there were actual tickets!

Some of the agencies don’t sell tickets directly through their website, but if you’re looking for a deal, try calling Sitclose or another agency and see what they can do for you.

TicketsAlways (Box Office) also got back to me and said that they do set up a game day location near Rizzo’s bar, across from Gallagher Way. Again, if you have time, you can check with them and see what they offer; they told me they source tickets at wholesale prices, which could be a great deal.

Most of the agencies have their own websites, so if you’re using Gametime or another outlet in your search for tickets, and the seller has the agency’s name, check their website. I’ve read that some agencies will list their tickets on both outlets, but it will be cheaper on their own site.

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cheap cubs tickets facebook

“Let me hear ya, who’s got tickets?”

Cheap Chicago Cubs Tickets, Tip #5) Facebook Forums, Scalpers, and Craigslist. There are in fact several Facebook groups where people unload their Cubs tickets. Here are a couple: Chicago Cubs Tickets *Verified Sellers*, and Chicago Cubs VIP Bleacher Season Tickets. They have thousands of members, who resell their season tickets without the fees.

I hope these folks don’t get mad at me for mentioning them in the same section as scalpers. I probably shouldn’t, since they do a lot to verify things. They seem very much like they simply want to help Cubs fans avoid the fees everyone hates. There’s many more forums, by the way, and you can search them.

You do have to join the groups and they’re private, which you would want obviously. So it might be better for frequent Wrigley attendees, which I wish I were.


scalping wrigley field tickets

“Look for the yellow ice cream truck. I’ll have my hat on backwards so you can find me.”

If you love the thrill of a non-guaranteed ticket, you might be able to score a great deal through scalpers or Craigslist. Wrigleyville isn’t crawling with aggressive scalpers like it once was, but I’m told they’re still out there. I’m guessing they can email you tickets or transfer them to you some other way.

Scalpers are tough here, but once the game starts they’ll likely drop the price. I know, I hate missing baseball too, but by about the third inning you can find a sweet deal. Not every game sells out, in case you are intercepted before you get to the ticket window and told as such.

I’ve written more about buying baseball tickets on Craigslist here; basically treat Craigslist sellers like you would scalpers. These days, I would have a backup plan in case the tickets have been voided somehow, which does happen to people, but there are plenty of legit sellers too.

The fewer tickets you’re looking for, the better; a single ticket is your best chance for a bargain.


cheap chicago cubs tickets low demand games

Get ’em while they’re cold!

Cheap Chicago Cubs Tickets, Tip #6) Choose The Right Game + Opponent. I can’t stress this enough, dear baseball fans. It’s key to finding the best deal on Cubs tickets. The difference in average ticket price between high and low demand games can sometimes be in the hundreds of dollars.

If all you want is to see a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, don’t pick a game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers or New York Yankees. Choose a game against the San Diego Padres, Colorado Rockies or another distant opponent whose fans don’t travel well. (Usually that’s any bad team, but there’s other factors.)

Similarly, it’s easier to find the deals on Cubs tickets during colder months, especially April, than it is for July and August games. Weekend games are in more demand than weekday games, but if you must go on a weekend, go for a Sunday. Most baseball travelers are gone by then.

A weeknight game in April against the Athletics can cost a third as much or even less as a summer weekend game against the Cardinals. Remember what I’ve told you about dynamic pricing. Even through the Cubs, picking the right game can save you a lot of cash.

Again, Rockies or Marlins over Cardinals or White Sox, weekdays over weekends, and April and May over July and August, if you can deal with the cold. (This is one reason the sunny bleachers are very popular here.)

how to get cheap chicago cubs tickets wait till the last minute

When you’re at this point, it’s pretty close to go time on getting tickets.

Cheap Chicago Cubs Tickets, Tip #7) Wait Till The Last Minute. This is a tip that a lot of Cubs fans will pass on to you; ticket prices for low demand games especially will drop as game time gets closer, especially on third party sites. If you’d like to see this phenomenon in action, check ticket prices starting a week out on Gametime, up until game time. You’ll see.

With so many ticket sellers having their own apps, you can literally just buy a ticket on your phone as you get off of the train at Addison Station. I saw a lot of Redditors recommend the Gametime app for this…they even offer deals after the game starts, great if you’re late anyway.

As valuable as this tip is, don’t go this route if a) the game is high demand and very important to you, b) you need a larger quantity of tickets, say more than four, or c) you want to sit in the bleachers. Remember the Wrigley bleachers are general admission and extremely popular. For a good seat you are looking at arriving three and a half hours before game time at the least. Not kidding.

Waiting till the last minute also probably affords you less time to shop around, but if you can, remember…go all the way to the checkout screen! (Have I said that enough?)


cheap seats at wrigley field

Note the absence of shade for bleacher seats. A key thing.

Cheap Chicago Cubs Tickets, Tip #8) Use That Weather. This one’s for locals, of course, or at least people within a couple hours of the ballpark (e.g. Brewers fans!). If you have flexibility, check for tickets on days where the weather doesn’t look great.

If you live there, I don’t need to tell you that Chicago weather isn’t always conducive to enjoying live baseball. But what that also means is that season ticket holders sometimes will unload tickets if the temps drop. Or, honestly, if the temps are through the roof in the summer, which does happen.

You can always duck out of the elements temporarily in the team store, the concourses or even the bathroom. (True…I found the men’s room at Wrigley to be an excellent place to warm up if you don’t mind the social discomfort).

Shoot for the bleachers on cold days, which face away from Lake Michigan wind. Or at least avoid the shaded seats. My complete guide to Wrigley Field seating should help here.

Heck, you might even find a season ticket that includes some club access very cheap.


cubs group tickets

Shout your Cubs fandom from the rooftops! (Just not the Wrigley rooftops.)

Cheap Chicago Cubs Tickets, Tip #9) Bring Your Friends. The Cubs offer sweet deals on group tickets. Best of all, you only need to find 14 friends or co-workers interested in going to a baseball game. If you can’t pull that off in Chicago, find a new place to work without such killjoys.

The Cubs include a group discount calendar on their website. You can choose the cheapest games of course, but best of all, (pay attention here) the Cubs waive the ticket fees! According to Megh, the nice Cubs rep that informed me of this, that works out to a discount of about $10 per ticket on average. If you can get 250 fans to go, they’ll even throw in tickets to a future game. Bet you weren’t expecting to learn how to get FREE Cubs tix here!

The Cubs’ newsletter (remember to sign up!) should tell you what discounts for groups are happening. Find out well in advance.

Incidentally, the Cubs will help you if you’re doing a Cubs game as a fundraiser too. They’ll donate $4 back to your organization for each ticket you sell through a dedicated link. It’s not technically a way to get cheap tickets, but it’s something to consider for your non-profit.

Unfortunately, the “amusement tax” is still included, but it can still be a heck of a deal.


how to get cheap chicago cubs tickets Wrigley Field

If you just sit between those poles over there, you’ll be doing all right!

Cheap Chicago Cubs Tickets, Tip #10) Use The Cheap Seats. If you only care about getting into the ballpark, you can try SRO or seats on the outer edge of the upper deck. Not great seats of course, but they go cheap, especially for low demand games.

The Cubs sometimes offer steals on the cheap seats for low demand games (check your newsletter). Use the box office if you can and avoid the fees.

I don’t endorse people moving into seats that they haven’t paid for (even though I sometimes do it). But even if I did, Wrigley isn’t an easy place to improve your lie during the game. The ushers can be pretty tough from what I’ve read, especially in the lower level.


wrigley field seating upper

At the Friendly Confines, you’re never far from the action!

That said, for cheap seats, the Friendly Confines does offer some of the better views in MLB. You could sit at the top and not be as high as in Milwaukee or the South Side. Yes, the views tend to be not so great further into the outfield. But there’s far fewer acrophobia-level seats at Wrigley.

Other cheap seats at Wrigley include those infamous “obstructed view” seats…and there are ways to minimize that. Here’s some helpful tips.

The Cubs say that they will make a limited number of standing room tickets available on game day. You could try the box office early.


save money on chicago cubs tickets wrigley field

You’re in? Great! No need to thank me, it’s all in a day’s work for Ballpark E-Guides!

There you go friend, all my valuable advice for finding deals and saving money at your next Chicago Cubs game. Be sure to check out my complete guide to the Friendly Confines. By the way, I have a lot of tips for the White Sox ballpark too, if you’re out this way.

I hope this post saves you enough for at least a Wrigley hot dog at the concession stand. Please pass the word and support our sponsors, and thanks for reading!

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission. This is at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)

Wrigley Field Food Menu 2023 – Smokies, Italian Beef + More

Posted by Kurt Smith

Here it is my friend: the complete, ultimate fan’s guide to the Wrigley Field food menu.

Read it well and read it often, because this is important! If a trip to the Friendly Confines is in your future plans, you’re going to want to sample Chicago-style dogs, local pizza and (not or, and) Italian beef. Or find cool nearby places and bring your own.

And of course, you’re going to want to tell your friends about the food in Chicago’s North Side ballpark.


chicago dogs

Yes, I’m gonna talk about hot dogs. No worries.

Don’t skip anything, but if time is a factor, here’s your table of contents:

The Sheffield Counter Wrigley Field Restaurant
Yes, You’re In Chicago, Part 1: Chicago Dogs + Other Encased Meat
Yes, You’re In Chicago, Part 2: Local Pizza
Yes, You’re In Chicago, Part 3: Italian Beef
Chicken, Brisket, and Other Sandwiches
What About Burgers?
Fries, Nachos + Other Munchie Food at Wrigley Field
For Big Ass Cub Fan Appetites
Dessert At The Friendly Confines
Healthy Wrigley Field Food: Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, + Kosher
Want To Save Money On Wrigley Field Food? Check Out This Tip!
And Yes, You Can Bring Your Own

New Wrigley Field Food For 2023

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The Attached Wrigley Field Restaurant

Because Wrigley has changed so much since my last visit, and time is a factor putting this out, I’m leaving an analysis of the new fancy clubs for a future post. You can read about them here on the Cubs website.

sheffield counter

The Cubs seem to like the word “Corner” better these days, but the food doesn’t taste any different.

The Sheffield Corner restaurant is located at the end of the right field concourse, along Sheffield Avenue, and is open to anyone with a ticket. It’s a small sit down area with tables and window counters, so you can watch construction while you eat.

You can also order somewhat fancy chicken sandwiches, including the new Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich in 2022, cheeseburgers and dogs, Big Slugger nachos, and a healthier items like a vegan Sloppy Jane sandwich. The Big W Burger and Cuban Burger were available here in my last visit.

The Corner is open two hours before game time, but it does get packed, and you’ll be tight with your neighbor if you don’t arrive fairly early.


Yes, You’re In Chicago, Part 1: Chicago Hot Dogs

Hot dogs are Chicago, and Chicago is hot dogs. The Wrigley Field food menu includes them in all of the necessary forms:


chicago dogs

Poppy seeds, grilled onions…this can really soften the blow of a Cubs defeat.

Chicago Dog kiosks are found in most all of the concourses, on both levels and on the Bleacher Patio. Chicago Dog has Vienna Beef franks or Polish sausages on poppy-seed buns, on which you can add a big pile of raw or grilled onions, chopped tomatoes, sport peppers, mustard, sauerkraut, celery salt and that bright green relish that make it a dog “dragged through the garden” as Chicago visitors call it.

Lines get long at Chicago Dog stands, and people scarf up the toppings, so you should hit one early. They might still be cash-only, so have some on hand. Chicago Dog used to carry bison dogs; there is a separate cart for that now (read on).


wrigley field hot doug's

With a logo like this, you know it’s a great dog. (image courtesy of Hot Doug’s)

Hot Doug’s: “Hot Doug” Sohn was the owner of the most popular hot dog stand in Chicago–as in lines around the block popular. He became successful enough to retire, but the Cubs liked his unusual dogs enough to give him a stand in the bleacher section, behind the center field scoreboard. There you go; another reason to get a bleacher ticket at Wrigley, which is the only place you can order Hot Doug’s sausages. Lines get very long at this stand too, so jump on it early if you can.

Hot Doug’s famous dogs are sold in various forms named after Cubs’ greats, which they rotate for each homestand. For example, you might see the Tinker to Evers to Chance double play combination (Trivia question answer: Harry Steinfeldt.):

Joe Tinker: A veal saltimbocca sausage with crispy onions, sage mustard and Swiss cheese.

Johnny Evers: A jalapeño and Jack cheese pork sausage with caramelized onions, sweet and spicy mustard and more Jack cheese.

Frank Chance: A spicy Polish sausage topped with cilantro aioli, pico de gallo and Chihuahua cheese.


wrigley field food high plains bison

The logo features a three-legged bison…which is presumably easier to catch.

The High Plains Bison people are the Official Lean Meat of the Chicago Cubs, and they have separate carts at Wrigley that sell hot dogs, Italian sausages and brats made from lean bison meat. On your sausage you can get peppers, sweet onions and/or marinara.

The High Plains bison dog itself doesn’t taste very different from a classic dog except for a smokier flavor, and the meat is leaner and healthier, as they clearly state on this kiosk. I had one in my last trip and it was very good.

So why choose a bison dog? According to the High Plains website, bison offers 45% fewer calories than beef, 87% less fat, and 100% more iron. And of course, you have the option of getting one at Wrigley Field.


wrigley field smokies

Nothing says smoked beef like a hand-operated scoreboard look.

Wrigley Field Smokies: I didn’t know this, but smoked sausages were a popular thing at Wrigley, so the Cubs brought them back. The Smokies cart sells hickory-smoked beef sausages with a secret blend of seasonings, and no artificial colors or flavorings. I don’t know how to describe a smoky flavor, but that is the selling point. Smokies are also made by Vienna Beef, and they’ve informed me that they offer them on their website for limited times.

The Smokies are slightly larger than the Wrigley dog and cost a bit more; you can get one with grilled onions and stuff. I don’t see them on the current Cubs menu, so if you can’t find the cart, you can probably order them at Chicago Dogs or another stand.


wrigley field food decade dogs

Well, the picture was cool.

Apparently, the Decade Dogs stand is unfortunately no more; it was another spot for unusual hot dogs that were named after the decades when such items were popular, like a 1970s “TV Dinner” dog. The Cubs fetched $1,000 for charity selling the sign. If you want unusual dogs, go for Hot Doug’s or the Sheffield Counter.


wrigley field Chicago hot dog

Here, I proudly display my own handiwork of dressing a dog Chicago-style. I get stingy with that neon green relish.

One last note about Wrigley Field hot dogs. If you buy a dog from a vendor as opposed to the concessions kiosks, the dog will be steamed coming from the vendor as opposed to grilled. Not that one is better than the other; the religion of Chicago dogs isn’t clear on the matter.

The vendor steamed hot dog is wrapped up and the roll can get good and mushy, which some folks (including myself) like. Still, you’re missing out on the whole dressing up of the hot dog this way—with a vendor you’re limited to mustard packets.

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Yes, You’re In Chicago, Part 2: Home Run Inn Pizza

The local favorite Home Run Inn Pizza is now the pizza of the Cubs; you can find it pretty much anywhere around the ballpark. In case you don’t know who Home Run Inn is, they’re a Chicago-based local chain with nine locations in the area, and they sell frozen pizzas as well.

They’re not deep dish, unfortunately, for reasons unknown the Cubs went with a thin crust purveyor. But Home Run Inn has been around since 1923, and in Chicago, you must be doing something right to stick around that long.


wrigley field food giordanos pizza

True, I don’t want to watch someone else eat this.

As a big fan of Giordano’s deep dish pies, I’m sorry to see they’re not featured at Wrigley anymore…but while the convenience of trying a deep dish pie at Wrigley was great, Giordano’s has an actual location just a few blocks away, with better selection of pizzas and toppings anyway. It’s just a 12 minute walk from Wrigley, and just steps from the Belmont Red Line Station.

I know it’s not on the Wrigley menu, but I liked the picture.


Yes, You’re In Chicago, Part 3: Italian Beef

wrigley field italian beef

Is it me, or does the sun shine brighter on Italian beef?
(photo courtesy of the Chicago Cubs)

For you non-Chicago natives, the Italian Beef is roast beef that is sliced thinly, slow cooked in au jus gravy and seasonings, and then dumped on a roll with hot pepper giardiniera if you like. It’s a little bit like a Philly cheesesteak, but different enough to make it a Chicago thing. You’ll need napkins for this one.

One thing, BTW, don’t call it an “Italian beef sandwich” in front of a native. Just Italian Beef.

Buona Beef is the official Italian Beef of the Cubs. Buona is a popular chain of about 17 restaurants, with an excellent diagram on their site about how to make an Italian beef sandwich. I trust them.

You can find the Italian beef at Bleacher Platform 14, and also at the Chicago Dogs and Marquee Grill stands.


wrigley field als italian beef

A nearby and equally authentic authentic Italian beef. (photo courtesy of Al’s Italian Beef.)

Nothing against Buona, but if you’d like to try a true classic Italian beef, no need to go far… Al’s restaurant is just a short walk south on Clark Street. Lots more choices of toppings, and Al’s is a true vintage classic in Chicago. And I’m not just saying that because they let me use this photo.

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Other Sandwiches: BBQ Chicken + Others

wrigley field chick-ago sandwich

Nothing like leaving your teammate a Chick-Ago sandwich in the on-deck circle!
(photo courtesy of the Chicago Cubs)

Here’s a fun one…the Chick-Ago Sandwich. It’s pickle brined and seasoned chicken thighs with tempura sport peppers, vine ripe tomato chunks, and dill aioli on an onion roll with celery salt. Kind of like a Chicago Dog, but with chicken. I don’t know if the Cubs still offer this, but it might be in the Sheffield Corner if you look.

New in 2022 was a smoked brisket sandwich courtesy of Lillie’s Q; Lillie’s Q is another very popular chain of restaurants in Chicago and Florida, from chef Charlie McKenna. They’re known for zero sugar BBQ sauces, which sounds great, so I presume that’s available at a Cubs game too.

The Wrigley Field food menu also mentions an Italian seasoned grilled chicken sandwich with pesto aioli, and a crispy pork sandwich with breaded pork strips and toppings on a pretzel bun. A chance to go beyond a simple burger.


Speaking of Burgers…What About Burgers?

Wrigley Field Cheeseburger

Chef Tony Mantuano designed this masterpiece. This is why the Chef Series was necessary.
(photo courtesy of the Chicago Cubs)

The fancy burgers recently available at Wrigley are no more…sorry to get your hopes up with this photo.

Various stands throughout Wrigley sell the aptly named Big W burger. It’s basic, simple, and American: a fresh beef patty with American and cheddar cheese, the classic burger topping triad of lettuce, tomato and onion, with secret sauce (something like Thousand Island dressing if I’m not mistaken, since Big Macs still sell). Get crinkle cut fries with it for the ideal American meal.

More on the Impossible Veggie Burger and gluten-free burgers in the Healthy Section…


Even More Wrigley Field Food: Fries, Nachos + Other Munch Foods

disco fries wrigley field food

I remember when going disco was a bad thing. This rocks, pun intended.
(photo courtesy of the Chicago Cubs)

They don’t offer “Disco” fries anymore as far as I can tell, but the Cubs still have something on their menu called “Loaded Garlic Fries”. What they’re loaded with, the Cubs haven’t told me, but I’m guessing it’s similar to what’s in the photo. You can find them at a few stands including the Clark Street Grill.


wrigley field food walking taco

There was more chili in it when I purchased it. Honest.

Here’s a picture of a Walking Taco from a Chicago ballpark. Well, okay, I took this one at a White Sox game. But it’s the same deal, a bag of Fritos with chili con carne, nacho cheese, pico de gallo and pickled jalapenos. Not the healthiest thing, but a cheaper and easy snack.

You can find ordinary nachos at Wrigley, including the soon-to-be-discussed Big Slugger Nachos, but if you like your nachos with different stuff piled on them, try the Italian beef nachos at Bleacher Bums. Of course, you need a bleacher ticket for that one…


Wrigley Field Garrett Popcorn

Popcorn so good, you’ll buy a seat for it! (photo courtesy of the Chicago Cubs)

Finally, Nuts on Clark has unfortunately departed, but Garrett’s gourmet popcorn is a more than adequate replacement. Garrett’s is the famous popcorn maker in Chicago…and you have to be pretty good to be famous for food in Chicago…and at Wrigley you have the choice of their Cheese Corn or Caramel Crisp. Or mix the two and put it in a souvenir Cubs tin!


Wrigley Field Eats For Big Ass Cub Fan Appetites

wrigley field food north side twist

The dipping sauces alone could put strain on a marriage.

If you look around the Wrigley Field food stands, especially in the bleachers, you may come across the North Side Twist, Wrigley’s version of the 2-pound soft pretzel. This monster, served in a pizza box, comes with three different dipping sauces chipotle honey mustard, beer cheddar cheese and cinnamon cream. All of which work very well.

They’re not cheap, but it’s easily enough for two people. You should get here early if you want one, these do sell out on occasion.


chicago cubs game nachos

Only if you have them in a batting helmet!

If you’ve got a nacho jones and/or are sharing, try a helmet of Big Slugger nachos…two pounds of nachos served in a helmet with a ridiculous amount of toppings, including ample salsa and jalapenos.

Two pounds is a lot of nachos, so be sure you can handle this for the cost.

In the past at the Italian Hot Spot stands I’ve seen a Big Cheese Rip-N-Dip, a large amount of focaccia bread covered with cheese and served with dipping sauces. I don’t know if it’s still around, but if you like dipping bread sticks this could be for you.


Dessert At A Cubs Game

prairie city cookies cubs

“Don’t get any cookie crumbs on my scoreshee… Oh, Prairie City? Never mind.”

Prairie City Cookies are the Official Cookie of the Chicago Cubs, just in case you were wondering. They’ve also been the “Snack of The Day” on the Rachael Ray Show, an equally impressive achievement. You can get a couple of tasty cookies fairly cheaply for a ballpark.

Food stands everywhere offer dessert varieties; they have Oatly’s ice cream and several other sweet treats like lemon chills, licorice ropes and giant cookies. And on cold days you can get a hot chocolate. There’s also a frosty malt cup that has been a Wrigley staple for many years. It even inspired this blogger to make her own.


oatlys ice cream wrigley field

Do your part for the cows while you’re at Wrigley!
(photo courtesy of Oatly’s)

Speaking of Oatly’s, in case you haven’t heard of them and/or think it’s an odd name for ice cream, allow me to briefly explain…Oatly’s ice cream is made from oat milk, see, which makes it vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and a whole other lot of things healthier types like. I’ve tried it and it’s in fact very good…you won’t miss the dairyness, take it from me, and the Oatly’s people are good folks.

Wrigley Field not only has different styles of wine coolers and frozen drinks that lady Cub fans like (mai-tais, vodka lemonades, etc.), they also have ice cream in the souvenir helmet for you collectors. The helmet is not actual head-size, though, unless you have an extremely small head.


Healthy Wrigley Field Food: Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, + Kosher

wrigley field vegetarian food

Impossible Veggie Burgers, best enjoyed from the Bartman Seat.
(photo courtesy of the Chicago Cubs)

The aforementioned Impossible Burger is a vegetarian burger with a plant-based vegan burger patty, topped with chipotle lime aioli, American cheese, lettuce and tomato on a brioche bun. Remove the cheese and it’s a vegan burger. It can be found in Left Field Classics, Right Field Classics, and at the Red Line Grill in the bleachers. Apparently they don’t want you near home plate with it. You can also get a Beyond Sausage at Wrigley too.

Would definitely assist in digesting the also-vegetarian Home Run Inn pizza or Garrett’s popcorn. You can also find that chopped salad in most fancier stands.

My celiac-afflicted then-girlfriend did not like Wrigley Field when I took her for a visit (astonishingly, I married her anyway). Maybe this will get her to go again: the Cubs have gluten-free dogs and burgers. Go to the Marquee Grill stand behind home plate and ask for one…according to this blogger, you should tell them to use gloves.

Celiacs can also go for veggie chopped salads, pistachios and gummy bears. You may also have some GF options at the Sheffield Corner. Redbridge gluten-free beer is sold at Wrigley.

The Cubs had sold kosher dogs at several stands, but in 2017 they installed a spot devoted exclusively to the art of kosher food. DanZtand is run by Danziger Kosher Midwest, a caterer based in Chicago. At their Wrigley outpost, you can get Romanian hot dogs, Romanian Polish (?) sausages, and pretzels, and presumably they would be available for Friday night or Saturday games.


Want To Save Money on Wrigley Field Food? #KillerTip

save money at wrigley field

I felt truly empowered when I learned this.

Because you’ve stuck with me this long, I’m sharing a killer tip with you…

For the first hour that the gates are open at Wrigley, food and non-alcoholic drinks are 25% off their regular price at all of the non-kiosk stands. This includes the Sheffield Corner if you’re looking for something there, but it doesn’t include the fancier items, unfortunately. Still, 25% off anything is great at a ballpark.

The discount comes up automatically, no need to ask for it. Get your Home Run Inn pizza early, and then when the price returns to normal, get your fancy chicken sandwich on.

Speaking of saving money…


Yes, You Can Bring Your Own Grub

wrigley field subway

Subway subtly gives away the secret for thrifty fans…

It’s becoming more common knowledge now that you can bring your own food into ballparks, within reason. Here is the Cubs official policy: you can bring in a bag that is smaller than 16*16*8, which should be large enough to carry anything you need. Your bag will be searched, and anything that could contain alcohol or be used as a projectile will be removed.

So take advantage of that loophole and save a few bucks…I’ve offered up three places to fill up your goody bag here, but Wrigleyville has tons of other takeout joints, including McDonald’s, Subway, and vendors selling peanuts and water around the ballpark but especially at the Addison Red Line station.


Byron's Hot dogs wrigley field

I left the delivery phone number in the photo for you!

Coming from the north, you can get off the Red Line at the Sheridan station just a few blocks away from Wrigley and stop at Byron’s hot dogs, another classic Chicago dog joint. Get that Dogzilla half pound skinless beef hot dog with the Chicago fixin’s.

So thanks for hanging in there with me…oh, and since there’s some new stuff…


Wrigley Field Food Updates 2023 | New Chicago Cubs Eats

wrigley field food 2023 chicago cubs

They would have added “crispy”, but then there wouldn’t be any space for “good to eat”, which is still the main selling point.

So the Cubs have updated the menu with some new items for 2023…thankfully the team doesn’t change the basics of the Wrigley Field food menu very often. Here’s what’s new to eat at Wrigley (unfortunately the Ballpark App doesn’t tell me where this stuff is, if I find out I’ll update this post):

Small Cheval Burgers. Another reason to sit in the bleachers in addition to Hot Doug’s…there is now a Small Cheval Burgers stand! Small Cheval is a retro burger joint with about a half dozen locations in Chicago, and they’re very basic with burgers and fries…which means, especially in Chicago, that they do it right.

The Crispy Chicken Bao Bun. This is a crispy chicken thigh covered with Thai chili sauce, baby arugula, cucumber and carrot on a bao bun. Good for healthier sorts, which we’re seeing more of these days.

Greek Loaded Fries. I’m all in on this at my next Cubs game: steak fries covered with gyro stuff, including meat, feta, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, red onions, pepperoncini, and feta cream sauce. Get your gyro and fries mixed together as nature intended!

The Burger Brat. This is a split bratwurst sausage on a brioche bun, loaded with brat-seasoned ground beef, cheddar cheese, yellow mustard and sauerkraut. Goes well with beer I’m certain.

Crispy Chicken Torta. What’s with the Cubs and crispy chicken? Anyway, the Crispy Chicken Torta is a torta roll (surprise!) with Homestyle (as opposed to Awaystyle…snort) crispy chicken, mayo ancho cabbage and cotija cheese.

Quesabirria. I don’t know what this is, I’m just proud of being able to spell “Quesabirria”. Seriously, this is barbacoa, Spanish onions, and chihuahua cheese on a crispy flour tortilla, covered with ancho chili sauce.

One other note for 2023: in case you weren’t aware, Wrigley Field is cashless now (so much for the Chicago Dogs guys keeping the change)…so credit or debit cards or mobile apps are the only form of payment you can use. Personally I’m fine with this, so long as they don’t insist on my using my own credit card.


Hungry yet? Is that it? Wow, seems like I was just getting started!

There you have it my friends, your full Wrigley Field food menu analysis. Feel free to let me know if anything changes. If you’d like to know where to find any of these items, the Cubs have a listing here that you might be able to use for a while…

Be sure to check back for any changes, and share this with anyone planning a trip to Wrigley!

Interested in finding out more about the Friendly Confines? Click here to read my complete Wrigley Field Guide…and become an expert on finding deals on tickets, choosing a great seat, how to get to the ballpark, landing a parking spot and more!

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)

Wrigley Field Parking – Best Tips For Chicago Cubs Parking

Posted by Kurt Smith

You’re right to search for info about Wrigley Field parking before you go. Being in a residential area…and being a ballpark built before the rise to prominence of the automobile…Wrigley parking can be difficult to find and expensive. (This is one reason most fans use public transit.)

But Ballpark E-Guides never backs down from a challenge, and after doing a ridiculous amount of research, here is a page full of my best tips for getting to Wrigley by car.

Want to know everything you need to know for your next trip to the Friendly Confines? Check out this well-detailed and helpful guide to Wrigley Field!


wrigley field parking prices

Cardboard insert allows for quickly implemented price increases.

If you’re looking for the easiest way to get to a Cubs game, read this about the CTA. But if you’re driving, there are things you should know. Don’t be that guy that settles for a $50 spot and/or misses the first inning. Give yourself a chance to get some grub outside too.

First, I will try to briefly gloss over the traffic situation…after this quick word from our sponsor, with my most valuable bit of Wrigley Field parking advice:

Never drive to Wrigley Field without a plan…

Book your Cubs parking spot now with SpotHero!

Driving to Wrigley Field? You Should Know This…

The Cubs’ website provides directions from all points, including from the airports, and in most cases they provide alternate routes. Even with these, though, you should allow a lot of time—just getting to the ballpark from I-90/94 on Addison can take almost an hour on game day.

Here are some of my own suggestions for alternate routes.

Alternate Route #1: I made a Chicago friend cringe sharing this route, so don’t tell anyone.

Coming south on I-94 before it merges with I-90, exit at Cicero (41C) and go south to Foster Avenue. Coming north on I-94, use the Foster exit (42), and then make a left onto Foster.

Go east on Foster—it becomes U.S. 41 after Lincoln Avenue. Take a right on Ashland Avenue, and then use Grace Street or a nearby cross street to get to Clark.


wrigley field parking and alternate routes

Four lane roads are better.

Alternate Route #2: Coming from Lake Shore Drive, the Cubs recommend using the Irving Park or Belmont Avenue exits, but these get bogged down too, so you can get off one exit early and use Fullerton Parkway coming north or Montrose going south.

From Montrose you can turn on Ashland and use it to get to Addison (you can also make a left onto Clark just before Ashland). Irving Park Road (IL-19), with four lanes, is said to not be as bad as Belmont, so it might be okay, but this is an alternative.


irving park road cubs game

Named for famous Chicago native Irving Park.

Alternate Route #3 (for exiting): The city created an “offset centerline” on Irving Park Road making two lanes available westbound after the game; so this might be an easier route out than Addison if you’re returning to the interstate. (It’s a good idea to choose your parking spot accordingly for this, i.e. north of the ballpark.)

The general rule is that the streets west of the park (heading towards the Interstate) are the worst, so you’re better off trying to approach Wrigley from the north or south, and coming from the south is easier than from the north.

There are hotels near Wrigley that presumably would provide a parking space and save you the trouble of finding a spot, but you’ll pay a nice chunk of change for anything decent here. You’re better off staying downtown and using the Red Line to get to the game, or staying in Skokie and using the Yellow Line.

Finally, if you’re coming from out of town, you’ll probably have to pay some tolls; bring a lot of quarters if you don’t have a transponder, because not all of the booths have attendants.

OK, get all that? Now here are some of your Wrigley Field parking options, all of which have their merits…

wrigley field parking green lot

Wrigley Field Parking – From The Cubs Themselves.

As I write this, the Cubs operate six official lots. The Brown Lot is a block south on Eddy Street, the Green lot is a couple of blocks north and the Irving Park lot is about four blocks north on Irving Park Road. You can buy passes online or call the Cubs to reserve a spot for most lots.

The Green Wrigley Field parking lot is only available for weekday games, demonstrating the pull that the Cubs really have in the city. It’s a couple of blocks away, but it’s been repaved recently and compared to most Cubs lots, it is a relatively easy in and out.


green lot wrigley field

They always get me with those cones!

There are port-a-pots in the Cubs lots, but tailgating isn’t permitted. (So there shouldn’t be lines for them.) If you plan on partying in Wrigleyville after the game, try to find a lot that will allow you to stay longer; the Cubs require you to exit their lots two hours after the game ends.

Some people feel safer leaving their car in official team lots; I’m not knocking that, but I think you’ll be just fine using spots offered by your friendly neighborhood parking app. More on that in a bit.

(Wait…did I hear you say you want to park for free at Wrigley Field?)

Hey, you’re a bold fan. I like that! And apparently, so do the Cubs.


wrigley field parking free bus

Notice the word “parking” is emphasized over both “express” and “bus”.

The team offers a free remote lot at 3900 N. Rockwell Street; it is just off of Irving Park Road a couple of miles west of the ballpark. Believe it or not, the Cubs provide a free shuttle service from here for night and weekend games; it starts 2.5 hours before the ballgame and runs for an hour afterwards, leaving every ten minutes or so which is nice.

So with the Cubs Express bus, and with the street parking available on weekdays (more on that in a bit), you can now park for free for pretty much any Cubs game. And this shuttle allows you easy access back on I-90/94, without having to navigate through much traffic.

One caveat though…it’s a very long line after the game, with thousands of other fans exiting the ballpark in other directions. Be ultra-mindful if you have kids with you.


wrigley field parking murphys

Countdown to extra income from parking!

You have other options, too, but…

…with the Cubs apparently buying the entire North Side of Chicago, I’m not sure how many of these options remain as I write this. But here’s a few non-team sanctioned lots:

Murphy’s Bleachers has a small lot across the street from the bleachers entrance; it isn’t any cheaper but you can keep your car there if you’re partying at Murphy’s afterward.

The Red Top Parking lot is close to the bleachers and is said to be an easy out; but you will pay extra to avoid being parked in.


wrigley field parking wrigleysville dogs

Wrigley parking, gyros, and outdoor dining…what’s not to like?

There is a small lot at Wrigleysville Dogs on Clark (yes, with an S); it’s a good spot to grab a quick cheap bite before the game.

Finally, South on Clark and Sheffield a few blocks from the ballpark, you can find parking that is a bit cheaper than the lots closest to the park; these lots are near many of the popular taverns (and Al’s Italian Beef!) and there are cheaper souvenir stands nearby.

Whatever your plan, if you are coming to Wrigley by car, you’d be very wise to book your parking beforehand. Don’t trust someone just because they’re wearing an orange smock (that’s a popular scam).

Fortunately for you, there are quite a few enterprising folks who will help arrange things for you…


cubs game purple lot parking

Pass holders. At Wrigley Field you want to be one of those.

Give thanks for prepaid parking!

SpotHero, for example, is like StubHub for parking spots; it’s located in several tough-to-park-in cities like Chicago. With SpotHero, people that own spots near the ballpark offer them to Cubs fans online. Select a game, choose from a selection of spots, print out your reservation and set your GPS.

One very nice thing about SpotHero is that you can read reviews of spots before booking them; they will often tell you if a spot is an easy out or if it’s near a favorite Wrigleyville establishment.



You can’t avoid trusting a logo like this.

Cub Parking. The guys at Cub Parking have made arrangements with people who have been selling spaces near Wrigley since before they were born. You can book a spot online and they will actually greet you there most times and direct you to your spot.

You’ll pay a premium price for closer spots, but you won’t be blocked in, and you can keep your keys and leave anytime. Cub Parking offers overnight parking (which can be a boon in Wrigleyville).

As owner Nick Napoli told me in an interview (click here if you’d like to read it, it’s very informative), it’s nice to park for free and get a ride from the Cubs, but with Cub Parking you won’t have to wait for a bus and pile onto it with other eager Cubs fans. He’s got a point…standing on buses isn’t fun.

Don’t wait till you get to the ballpark to get your Chicago Cubs gear…
Order your caps, jerseys, and more now at and save!

Click here to order your Cubs gear today!


park for free at wrigley field

NO, it’s not free just because you don’t see someone sitting there.

Did you say something about “free street parking at Wrigley”?

I knew that was going to distract you. OK, here’s what I know…and again, keep in mind that these rules can change.

Wrigleyville is a residential area, meaning that if you don’t have a permit sticker on your car and you park in the wrong place, your car will be towed.

But there are quite a few free spaces on nearby side streets, a short distance away for weekday games when everyone is at work and many games are still scheduled. You can use these and hoof it or take a train or bus to the park.

Look for the 383 zone sign:


free street parking at wrigley field

As long as you’re not partying here after a day game, the locals are good with it.

Generally, if you look around the side streets off of Clark Street or Waveland Avenue north and west of the park, you should see plenty of these. The signs will clearly say what you cannot do; if they don’t say you can’t park there during the day, you should be fine.

For day games if you are early enough (say, 3-4 hours before first pitch) you can grab one of these and park just a couple of blocks away for free; the only drawback is that you will need to be out of there by 6:00 PM (or maybe 5:00), so you can’t party in Wrigleyville too long. It’s a good idea to remember the address where you parked.

I’ve also read that there is free street parking on Clark Street north of Irving Park Road, if you don’t mind at least a four block walk (past Wrigleysville Dogs, incidentally), and east of the Graceland cemetery on Kenmore there are street spots.


street parking at wrigley field

“1060 West Addison? That’s Wrigley Field!”

If you’re coming off I-90/94 at Addison Street and you’d rather not fight traffic the whole way, there are side streets along Addison with spaces available, and many of them within a mile of Wrigley have no restrictions. In some spots you can park right on Addison. Just be sure to check parking regulations carefully.

If you’re too tired after the game for the walk back, hop on the #152 Addison Street bus. But remember where you left your car.

The city of Chicago recently doubled the price of meters for Cubs games, so it really likely isn’t worth it at $4 per hour for metered spots. You might as well find a closer lot.


reggies rock bus cubs game

“I’ll see you on the Dark Side of the Red Line…” (photo courtesy of Reggies Live.)

One More Thing for You Cubs Fan Rockers…

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Reggies Rock Bus. Reggies Live is a popular music club closer to the South Side; they offer packages for Cubs (and White Sox) games that include a bleacher ticket, a pre-game buffet, and a ride to the game on their wicked cool looking Rock Bus. All at a very reasonable price.

Reggies is on State Street close to the Red Line Chinatown Station; there is metered street parking nearby. Even including the parking cost it’s a great deal, and Reggies is a happening live music joint. Great for rocker Cub fans. (And isn’t that all of us?)


walking to wrigley field

You can get closer, but it’s not a bad walk.

A Short Summary of Wrigley Field Parking.

When I go to a game at Wrigley, I usually use the CTA…it’s cheaper than most parking and much easier than dealing with traffic. But there are cases when you might want to drive…and it’s often preferable to being on a packed train.

If you take away one key tip for Wrigley Field parking, it’s this: book your parking ahead of time. The free parking options are nice, but you’ll either be riding a crowded bus or risking having to leave an extra-inning or rain delayed contest early. And you paid for nine innings!

Want to know more about the Friendly Confines? Check out my complete guide to Wrigley Field!

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)

Wrigley Field Guide | Best Chicago Cubs Game Tips

Posted by Kurt Smith

Here it is my friend…your completely useful, completely informative, and completely entertaining Wrigley Field guide – with all the info you need for your next Cubs game (or any other event) at the Friendly Confines!

I’ve written other helpful stuff about Wrigley, from the impressive Wrigley Field food menu, the best ways to get to a Cubs game, to this helpful guide to Wrigley Field parking, and a detailed guide to Wrigley Field seating. And if you’re serious about saving money on tickets, this post is for you.

But this Wrigley Field guide covers all of the most important stuff. With lots of nice pictures. Please support our sponsors using the links below.

I’ve broken this down into chunks for you…

Finding Cheap Cubs Tickets
Choosing A Seat At Wrigley Field
The Best And Other Ways To Get To Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field Food
Bringing The Kids
Other Stuff

Gametime has your cheap Cubs tickets…with a lowest price guarantee, panoramic seat view photos, and great last minute deals…even after the game starts!

gametime affiliate program mlb tickets(See why Ballpark E-Guides loves Gametime here!)

welcome to wrigley field guide sign

Did you bring your Cubs parka?

Wrigley Field Guide, Part 1: Cheap Cubs Tickets

Cheap Cubs tickets is something of a relative phrase. But that’s all the more reason to read this useful Wrigley Field guide.

You can, with some effort, save a lot of a money on Cubs tickets…by being aware of all of your ticket buying avenues, choosing the right contest, and paying attention to things like the Cubs ticket alert newsletter. (If you haven’t already, subscribe to that now.) I will be putting together a full primer about finding cheap Cubs tickets soon, but here’s some basic help.

I’ll start with how the newsletter can help you. For high demand games, you are best off planning ahead and paying face value for tickets if you can. Your newsletter will (for free!) inform you of when tickets go on sale, including pre-sales. This is an opportunity to get tickets for high demand games at face price, which will likely be the cheapest price.

If you live in Chicago or know someone who does, get your tickets at the box office and avoid the considerable online fees.


wrigley field guide cubs tickets

OK, so I haven’t been to Wrigley since Anthony Rizzo was a Cub! Does that make me a bad person??? (Don’t answer that.)

High demand games are July and August weekend games, and games against the White Sox, Cardinals or Yankees. The easiest games are April weeknights, and when your behind is stuck to your frozen seat you’ll know why.

So if you want cheap Cubs tickets, and you have a choice, choose a weekday game over a weekend, and try for something in May (or September if the Cubs aren’t contending). If a weekend is your only choice, try for a Friday or Sunday.

You’ll need the MLB Ballpark app if you don’t get your tickets in person. The Cubs don’t allow printed tickets, because of their concern about fraud (whatever). You need the app anyway, for this reason: If you go the third party route, StubHub isn’t a bad choice, but search around, because other agencies might be offering better deals.

I always include Gametime in my searches. (And they are also an affiliate.)

Gametime, like StubHub, shows you available tickets from online sellers, and you can list them by price, and even choose from elite sellers. For low demand games especially, you can often find tickets for significantly less than face price, so check with Gametime first.


wrigley field guide ticket agencies

Gazebo + Bike Racks = Legit!

If you decide to try the many agencies near the ballpark, take a seating diagram with you so you can see where your potential seats are. They are very skilled hagglers, these guys…as are the scalpers…so wait until close to game time to get a better deal.

There are lots of scalpers here, but honestly, unless you have sick haggling skills like my buddy Andrew Van Cleve (who once lived near Wrigley Field), I would choose another route.

Here’s a key tip: Most of the agencies near Wrigley have their own websites, so if you’re using StubHub in your search for tickets, try comparing the price of your ticket to an equivalent ticket on the agency website. I’ve read that some agencies will list their tickets on both outlets, but it will be cheaper on their own site, and you should be able to pick up the tickets at the game.

And one last killer tip: bleacher seats during the season are general admission, so if you need more than one, try searching for some combination of the total you need for a better deal…e.g. if you need five, try searching for three singles and a pair. You might save quite a few bucks this way.

Don’t wait till you get to the ballpark to get your Chicago Cubs gear…
Order your caps, jerseys, and more now at and save!

Click here to order your Cubs gear today!

wrigley field guide choosing a seat at wrigley

I guess it kinda doesn’t matter when you’re at Wrigley. But we’ll discuss anyway.

Wrigley Field Guide, Part 2: Choosing The Best Seat

If you really want the nuts and bolts of how to choose a great seat at Wrigley (and it’s worth the trouble, especially if you’re a first timer), check out my extremely detailed Wrigley Field Seating guide.

But for the purposes of this simpler Wrigley Field guide, I’ll break it down by budget:

Friends of The Ricketts Budget: If money isn’t an issue, the Cubs have added a bunch of high end seats as part of the recent renovation; these include most of the closer seats between the dugouts. The visitors’ dugout is on the first base side, if you’re seeing your team at Wrigley.

These seats include all kinds of amenities like access to the swanky new clubs, so if you can afford a ticket at this price, you don’t need me to help you save money at Wrigley.

Large Budget: If you have triple digits to drop on Cubs pasteboards, the Bullpen Box, Club Box and Field Box seats are the closer lower level seats, and for low demand games you can find much better prices. Seats in the infield cost significantly more, as they do on the upper level, so if you’d rather be low than behind home plate, go for the outer Club or Field Box seats.

Avoid the first few rows of Field Box seats; there’s a walkway between Club and Field Box sections, and the foot traffic can be annoying.


bartman seat

This is the view from the Bartman seat. Do you think you wouldn’t have gone for the foul ball?

If you’re looking for the Steve Bartman seat, go to Section 3 and ask an usher…they can always point you right to it. (Wikipedia is no help with this.)

Medium Budget: For the folks who still prefer a craft beer to wine and cheese, the Terrace and Upper Box seats are within your range. Both have their advantages, but they’re very different. Choose the Upper Box for April or September games; the Terrace sections are almost entirely covered and get little sun, and that matters here.

As I’ve said, Upper Box seats are a great value, even at the current price; the upper deck at Wrigley is as close to the action as at any ballpark.

Small Budget: If you’re going for cheap seats at Wrigley Field, you can start with the Upper Reserved sections, especially the ones in the outfield; but a small step above them in price are both the Bleachers and the Terrace Reserved seats, both of which are much better.

If you do go with the upper level, be aware that there are only nine rows, so if you get Row 9 you will be at the very top of Wrigley Field. This isn’t such a bad thing, but if you struggle with steep steps you won’t like it. Stick with Terrace Reserved if that’s a problem for you.


upper level shade wrigley

Shade. It matters here.

With Upper and Terrace Reserved seats, you will very likely be covered by a roof. Being in the shade in Chicago can get chilly at any time; I’ve shivered there in late June. Just be prepared; put on an extra layer of clothing or two, or sit in the uncovered bleachers.

I talk more about the Wrigley Field bleachers here; but remember a few simple things: bleachers are general admission, so get there very early (I’m talking three hours before the gates open for high demand games). The seats are also metal and backless; bring a cushion if you’ve got a sensitive behind.

The bleachers feature seriously dedicated Cubs fans, some of whom probably drink more than they should. It might not be the best place for kids or fans wearing opposing teams gear. If you catch a visiting home run ball, throw it back. It’s not worth what you might endure if you don’t.


wrigley field support poles

Here’s the trick…just get the seat next to the support pole!

Avoiding Obstructed Views: With Terrace and Upper Reserved, you also have obstructed views from support poles. I’ve written more about that here; but if you want to keep it simple, avoid low numbered seats and low numbered rows in Upper Reserved; in the Terrace try to stay between rows 10-15. (Or get the “Preferred” seats with little to no obstruction; worth a couple of extra bucks.)

One last bit about seating: the sun sets on the third base side, so the shade comes early there. For chillier evenings, the right field seats that aren’t under a roof will be warmer. Again, this is Chicago, and you should be mindful of this.

The bleachers aren’t covered at all, and the Cubs offer sunscreen dispensers there.


wrigley field guide getting there

We’re here! Okay, where do we park?

How To Get To Wrigley Field

I’ll cover the basics of getting to the Friendly Confines here, but I cover this topic in much more detail in this post, well worth a read!

Most Wrigley goers, including the esteemed author of this respectable Wrigley Field guide, will tell you that the easiest way to get to Wrigley Field is by using the CTA Red Line. It’s cheap, it drops you right at the ballpark at Addison station, it runs 24/7, and there’s even a bunch of places to fill up your goody bag (yes, you can bring food into Wrigley Field).

If you use the Red Line, here’s a couple of tips: stand on the ends of the platform where the cars are less crowded; and try the station before Addison after the game if you want a seat (e.g. use the Sheridan station if you’re heading towards downtown).

In addition to the Red Line, the CTA has several other rail routes you can use to avoid standing on a packed train.


best way to get to Wrigley field blue line

Not the same Addison station where Wrigley is. Don’t walk it from here.

You can use the Blue Line to the Addison Station (it’s not the same station as the Red Line Addison, by the way) and the #152 bus, which also drops you at the ballpark, or use the Brown Line…which takes you a couple of blocks from the ballpark at the Belmont station, on a much less crowded train. Much more pleasant ride, this, through some attractive parts of Chicago…I’ve used it and thought it was preferable to the Red Line given the choice. The Brown Line doesn’t run 24/7 however, so check the schedule.

Metra Rail can take you from most of the suburbs of Chicago to downtown, but you’ll still probably be using the Red Line to get to Wrigley.

If trains aren’t your thing, you have a few alternatives, some of which are equally inexpensive and almost as convenient.


wrigley field parking express bus

No, you can’t leave your car there for the weekend.

First, you should know about the free Wrigley Field bus that the Cubs run for night and weekend games, from the remote lot at 3900 North Rockwell Street as of this writing (check the Cubs website on this, it moves from time to time). Free parking and free bus? U can’t touch that. Remember though, free attracts a lot of people, and this bus is always crowded.


how to save money at the ballpark wrigley express

Definitely beats the Wrigley parking price.

Then there’s the Pace Wrigley Field Express, another public transit route to Wrigley. The Pace buses run from two locations in the suburbs, and drop you right at the ballpark…and much more cheaply than paying for gas, tolls and parking. I’ve used the Pace Express to get to a White Sox game and it was great…just a few bucks and free parking, and lots of fans to talk baseball with.

Note: As I write this, Pace doesn’t have the staff to run the Wrigley Field Express, but they’re working on it and I’m sure it will return at some point.

Finally, if you do decide to drive and park, you can either use the aforementioned free remote lot, or use the lots near the ballpark, some of which are owned by the Cubs.

Remember though, driving and parking is more challenging. If you are driving to Wrigley Field, I very strongly recommend that you book a spot beforehand.


wrigley field parking green lot

It may be hard work to guard this sign, but someone’s got to do it.

You can also read my much more detailed guide for Wrigley Field parking, including traffic tips, other ways to park for free, and a bit about the very cool Reggies Rock Bus.

Wrigley is a popular Uber destination, and Lyft has Wrigley listed in its “discount zones”. A shared ride from Wrigley after the game can still be expensive though; you may want to walk a couple of blocks away from the crowded streets of Wrigleyville first.

And finally, as you know, this Wrigley Field guide goes the extra mile…if you want to avoid all this and ride a bicycle to Wrigley, there’s actually a free bicycle valet near the Addison CTA station, and the Cubs will look after your bike free of charge. There’s also Chicago’s Divvy Bikeshare shared bicycle service; they have two stations very close to Wrigley.

You’re now a expert on how to get to Wrigley Field, and that’s no small thing.

Never Drive To Wrigley Field Without A Plan…

Book Your Parking Spot NOW With My Friends at SpotHero!

wrigley field guide hot dogs

I should really leave this to professionals.

Wrigley Field Food: A Taste of Chicago

The Cubs have definitely stepped up the Wrigley Field food game; the link you just passed is a much more detailed primer on all things food at Wrigley these days (and it’s kind of funny too).

Chicago as a city worships three of the best American foodstuffs: hot dogs, pizza, and beefy sandwiches. At Wrigley, all three are represented pretty well.

Let’s start with hot dogs. You have ample choices for encased meat at Wrigley; my favorite is the Chicago Dogs stand…a simple but hefty dog that you can adorn with the Chicago dog necessities: chopped tomatoes, sport peppers, mustard, sauerkraut and neon green relish. And grilled onions, for an extra touch.

But if you’re in the bleachers…and this is a very good reason to be…you have the option of Hot Doug’s, a former Chicago-based stand that sells dogs with unusual toppings and named after Cubs greats, like the “Champ Summers”: a spicy Polish sausage with Goose Island beer mustard and crispy fried onions. They rotate the dog types for every homestand; Hot Doug’s is very popular.


wrigley field bison dogs

Poppy seeds, grilled onions…this can really soften the blow of a Cubs defeat.

And don’t forget about the High Plains Bison! You can find those stands in the main concourse as well, for leaner meat and a just-as-tasty dog.

Now then…being in Chicago, you can’t mess around with pizza, and while I was saddened to see that Giordano’s and their out of this world deep dish is no longer available at Wrigley, we do have Home Run Inn pizza here now. Home Run Inn has nine locations in the area, and this being Chicago, that suggests that they can’t be too bad. The pizza is pretty much everywhere and easy to find.


wrigley field guide food italian beef

Is it me, or does the sun shine brighter on Italian beef?
(photo courtesy of the Chicago Cubs)

Then there’s the Italian beef sandwich (just call it Italian beef when you’re in Chicago); a sandwich of thinly sliced and soaked Buona roast beef covered with giardiniera, which includes hot peppers, carrot slices, celery and other stuff to make it at least a little healthier. I always get an Italian beef when I’m in Chicago…when done right they’re a staple of a good life. If you can’t find one, head over to the Sheffield Counter in right field.

Aside from these Chicago staples, Wrigley features some terrific other options; at the aforementioned Sheffield Counter they include offerings from local chefs, including a phenomenal-looking cheddar burger, disco fries, and Garrett’s popcorn…Garrett’s is another very well-known name in Chicago.


wrigley field food north side twist

A big ass pretzel for big ass Cub fan appetites.

If you have a big appetite, look for the North Side Twist; it’s a very large and expensive soft pretzel that comes with several dipping sauces. It’s a lot of carbs, but you can walk it off here. Or try the Big Slugger nachos, a helmet full of nachos with a ridiculous amount of toppings. (Wash the helmet before you wear it.)

Again, much more about Wrigley Field food in this post, but two more quick points:

First, you can bring your own food into Wrigley, so take advantage of the bunch of local eateries in town…including Al’s Italian Beef on Clark Street…and get some great grub cheap for your goody bag.


save money at wrigley field

I felt truly empowered when I learned this.

And second (pay attention, this is a good one!), for the first hour after the gates open, you can score 25% off most food items, and that’s not insignificant at a ballpark!

That should be helpful for grabbing some grub at the Friendly Confines.

If you’re interested, there’s something of a decent craft brew selection at Wrigley…there’s multiple Goose Island options, and 3 Floyds, Bell’s, Hamm’s and Naturdays are available in the various craft beer stands around the ballpark (check out the “Retro Beer Cave” in the upper level of the bleachers).

wrigley field with kids

Stuffed animals are usually a hit.

Bringing The Kids To Wrigley Field

Enjoying a Cubs game at Wrigley Field with kids can be a challenge. It’s a bit tough to keep them entertained, for example, with little playground space inside. But it can be done. Here are a few things parents should know about bringing the family to the Friendly Confines:

Wrigley Field With Kids, Tip #1) Try Terrace Reserved Seats. You may want to sit in the Terrace Reserved sections (be sure to avoid obstructed views), especially on hot summer days. They have several advantages over the similarly priced bleacher seats…they’re in the shade, and you’re less likely to hear the colorful language of some bleachers fans.

And by Wrigley standards, the Terrace Reserved seats are more affordable for families, no small thing here.


wrigley field with kids fan club

Even though, in most aspects of their life, they’ll be expected to grow up a bit.

Wrigley Field With Kids, Tip #2) Join The Kids Club. The “Clark’s Crew” Cubs Fan Club membership for kids includes a game ticket (woo-hoo!), and the kid gets cool stuff like a backpack and lanyard too. The benefits are well worth the cost. Membership includes newsletters and merchandise discounts, and front of the line access on run the bases Sundays.

Speaking of which…


wrigley field with kids cubby bear

I’m sure he has an important point to make.

Wrigley Field With Kids, Tip #3) Go On Sundays. And Go Early. The Cubs offer a chance for the kids to run the bases at Wrigley Field (and that’s pretty cool, isn’t it?). Just get there early, so you can get a wristband for the kid when you come in.

Some Sundays are giveaway days, where the Cubs hand out stuff to young fans like lunch bags and wristbands. All pretty cool, but remember this…

Wrigley Field With Kids, Tip #4) Keep A Close Eye On The Kids. The Wrigley concourses get very crowded, especially for the last hour before the game starts, and it’s easy to lose track of someone small. Be sure the kid knows what to do in case you get separated…show them what Cubs employees look like and all that. It’s a crowded place outside too, so just be aware.

wrigley field tips

And counting.

A Few More Wrigley Field Tips For Newbies

Wrigleyville is a very crowded place on game day. There are lots of bars, restaurants, T-shirt and ticket hawkers, street performers, etc. It’s fun for the kids, especially with the new Park at Wrigley, but again, be sure to keep a close eye on them.

With everything that goes on in Wrigleyville and many games selling out, expect to take a while leaving the ballpark and the area, especially if you’re sitting in the upper level (this may be why the Red Line is so popular).

Many of the houses on Waveland and Sheffield that featured rooftop bleachers have had their view obstructed by new scoreboards, and the Cubs have bought up most of the remaining ones. So you can still watch a game from some of the Rooftops, and it often includes extras like beer and food in the price. It might be worth trying for the experience, but it’s not a great view in most cases. Still, you can duck out of the elements anytime, which is nice.


wrigley field cheap parking

You’ll be feeling good about this in the 11th inning.

If you’ve parked for free on a nearby street especially you should be mindful of how long it takes to exit the ballpark, because you WILL be towed if you leave your car there past the deadline (usually 5:00-6:00 PM). If you want to exit more quickly, use the right field or left field corner exits rather than the “Marquee” exit behind home plate. The right field corner is closer to the Red Line station.

Always be prepared for the weather. With the wind blowing in, and so many seats in the shade, you’ll see bundled up people in the seating bowl and shirtless people in the bleachers, which block the wind from Lake Michigan. It’s that much of a difference and another reason the bleachers are popular. Be as prepared as you can be on colder nights.

Finally, be sure to take a picture of the press box of whoever is singing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”.


wrigley field harry caray

You can’t be a worse singer than Jeff Gordon was, so don’t be shy!

There you have it my friend…your complete Wrigley Field guide, with everything you need to know. In case you didn’t click on any of it, there’s plenty more below for specific stuff…like hot dogs. Enjoy.

If this has been helpful to you, please share it with other baseball fans, and use the included links to this website’s sponsors and affiliates…thanks for your support!

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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 about avoiding obstructed views to how to truly do the bleachers. I’m here to help you find the best seats at Wrigley Field, whatever your budget size!

As much as I love Wrigley, I wish I’d read what you’re about to read before I went to my first few games there. Your choice of seat definitely matters at the Friendly Confines, 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 little while since I’ve been to Wrigley. But to the best of my knowledge, all the info here is up to date. BTW, if you need more Wrigley help, check out my complete Wrigley Field guide!


best seats at wrigley field

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

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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wrigley field seating map seating chart

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

The Cubs Seating Chart – New Section And Seat Numbering

The Cubs website has their perfectly nice seating map, which when buying tickets shows you some nice views.

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 Wrigley Field

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 dugout box

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

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

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 field level

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


best seats at wrigley field upper level

The support poles are your friend!

Wrigley Field Seating, Upper Level – Upper Box and Reserved

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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wrigley field obstructed views

Buy a Cubs ticket to see solid ballpark construction up close!

Avoiding Obstructed Views at Wrigley

You can get really scientific about how to avoid obstructed views at Wrigley Field, 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…not just to avoid the pole, but also to avoid the aforementioned foot traffic.

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.

bleachers wrigley

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

Home Of The Bums: The Wrigley Field Bleachers

The Wrigley Field 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. There’s a few things you should 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 seating standing room

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

Wrigley Field Standing Room Options

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.


wrigley field shade

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

Finding Shade And Other Stuff About Wrigley Field Seating

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. If you want to find the best deals on Cubs tickets, check out this post, and read this for a full primer on how to get to Wrigley. Hope it helps you in your next visit…see you at the Yard!

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Can You Bring Food Into Wrigley Field?

Posted by Kurt Smith

The short answer to the question for thrifty fans is yes, you can bring food into Wrigley Field from outside. The Cubs allow a 16*16*8 soft-sided bag (which is pretty big), so long as it doesn’t contain alcohol or projectiles. The Friendly Confines does have some great Chicago style grub (which I talk about in this truly informative Wrigley Field food post) but sometimes it’s good to save a few bucks too.

So what does this mean for you? In addition to bringing in peanuts and bottled water, which is easy to find anywhere outside, including at the Addison Red Line station, you have a few places near the ballpark to load up on Cubs game sustenance. This can help you choose an ideal parking spot, incidentally.

So Who Makes Food I Can Bring Into Wrigley Field?

Here are three suggestions if McDonald’s, Taco Bell or Subway doesn’t light up your palate:


visiting wrigley field wrigleysville dogs

Is there an “unofficial” hot dog of the Cubs?

Bring Food Into Wrigley Field, Stop #1) Wrigleysville Dogs. Yes, that’s an “S” in the name. Probably some legal thing. Wrigleysville Dogs is a few steps north of the ballpark on Clark Street, and it’s a great place for super cheap grub – like that classic Chicago dog dragged through the garden.

You can park in their lot too, if you’re early enough, but that part isn’t cheap.

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bring food into wrigley field el burrito mexicano

Translation: “Mexican Burrito”. I’m betting it took all night to come up with that name.

Bring Food Into Wrigley Field, Stop #2) El Burrito Mexicano. This tiny but authentic joint is right there at the foot of the Red Line station, and you can get yourself an easy-to-carry burrito to bring inside. (Burritos are an underrated ballpark food IMHO.)

Again, super cheap, but keep in mind that it’s cash only and very popular with fans. Get there early before it gets packed if you can.


bring food into wrigley field nuts on clark

The store is just a block away from the ballpark.

Bring Food Into Wrigley Field, Stop #3) Nuts On Clark. There is actually a Nuts On Clark outpost inside Wrigley Field as of this writing, but you can order your gourmet popcorn right there at the store on Clark Street, and it’s cheaper than in the ballpark and has a wider selection.

It’s a very short walk from Wrigley, but it’s only open during the day, so use this one for day games.

There’s three outside choices in Wrigleyville for fans bringing in their own grub. But there’s a pretty impressive menu inside the ballpark that you’ll want to know about too…

Want to know more about the Friendly Confines? Check out this complete guide to Wrigley Field, with everything you need to know! Oh, and click here to learn how to find great deals on Cubs tickets!

Never drive to Wrigley Field without a plan…

Book your Cubs parking spot now with SpotHero!

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission. Thanks for your support.)

Wrigley Field Prepaid Parking – CubParking

Posted by Kurt Smith

Wrigley Field prepaid parking is a necessity for anyone willing to try driving to Wrigley Field. But as the guys at CubParking can tell you, you can do okay so long as you book beforehand.

Recently Nick Napoli of CubParking contacted me and educated me about ways people park their cars at Wrigley Field…and why they should order parking in advance. I was impressed enough with the Cub Parking service to interview him, and he graciously agreed to answer my questions.

Here is the exchange below…thanks Nick! And Click here to check out CubParking and land a fine Wrigley Field prepaid parking spot for your next Cubs game…

(Need more Wrigley Field help? Ballpark E-Guides has your back! Read how to find a great seat here, check this out for using public transit to Wrigley, check out this complete primer for saving money on tickets, and check this post out for all the great food at Wrigley…more coming!)

Wrigley Field Prepaid Parking Cub Parking

Awww…isn’t he a cute little fella? Yes, let’s park here.

I recommend to my readers not to drive to Wrigley, since parking is expensive and scarce by comparison to other ballparks. You offer a solution to that. How did you get started doing it, and what was the response early on? I know you guys are all Cubs fans, did you finally get fed up with parking hassles at Wrigley?

Well for starters that’s good advice. It’s always best to take the CTA to a Cubs game. The Red Line drops you off a block from Wrigley Field, it’s perfect. And you’re right, official Wrigley Field parking is scarce.

For people who choose to drive in, the locals here have been offering up their private parking spots since long before I was born. It’s tradition here, we have neighbors in their 70s out there parking and they’ve been doing it 50 years. They’ll tell you some stories man.

I started parking cars with my friends and neighbors when I was very young, maybe 8 or 9 years old. The neighbors would occasionally let me sell their spots too, it was a whole show. My kid brother who struggles with autism would set up a cooler of cold drinks and make tips. He didn’t mess around, Kurt. We don’t mess around at CubParking (laughs).


wrigley field prepaid parking sign

We should try to get a little closer.

You are, I’m sure, more familiar with the driving and parking experience at Wrigley than I am. Can you contrast the difference between booking your spot beforehand and searching when you arrive? I expect the difference is massive!

Yes, customers who book Wrigley Field parking in advance don’t even realize the difference until after they arrive in the neighborhood and experience the pandemonium for themselves. Online reservations aren’t scrambling to buy a spot off a stranger, they have an address, a place to go and a reservation.

And over the years we’ve seen everything, or so we think. Those who wing it are often left frustrated. They end up buying a street spot off some weirdo, which is illegal. Or they park with a random bad guy who parks you in a random spot and then people get towed. Or people return to their car to find it’s blocked in. Just so many variables and things that can go wrong and ruin your game day experience. And unfortunately it happens every game.

When customers book with us, there is literally none of that. We’re the good guys. We meet customers at their parking spot when they arrive, get them checked in and on their way. We live in the neighborhood too, so we’re around after the game too in case they need us. So you’re right again Kurt, the difference is massive.


I notice you offer “all night” parking…a very nice option in Wrigleyville. Is this mostly because you want to offer people a way to party without having to drive? Where do people spend the night?

Glad you asked! We started offering it because people would ask for it. Customers often want to come grab their car in the morning, we have spots for that. As people arrive for the game, we can usually tell who is staying out late and who is leaving in the 7th inning, but now we offer overnight and extend time parking to everyone just in case.

And I’m not sure where people sleep but we have had folks ask to sleep in their cars. If it has to come to that, we don’t mind. I think we all agree it’s better than driving drunk. So hey, sleep one off in our garage if you have to. We all appreciate it.


How does Cub Parking turn a profit?

We split all money with residents 50/50. Everyone’s happy, it really works great.

wrigley field prepaid parking express bus

No, you can’t leave your car there for the weekend.

Would you say that Cub Parking is the most affordable option for fans? The Cubs offer free parking with a shuttle from near DeVry University. Does CubParking have better options than that?

Yes, we’re not only the most affordable option but we’re the best value too. That shuttle you mentioned isn’t a bad deal though. And you can’t compete with “free parking” either.

However, people who drive in often come in traffic from a long ways away. So the idea of finally getting out of the car and then waiting to pile on a crowded bus is not attractive. People want to get out of the car and just be there. Not to mention after the game you have to line up to shuttle all the way back.

For $20 or so you can park a block or two away from the park, leave early or stay late until traffic dies down. It’s money well spent, considering how expensive everything else is on game day. CubParking is the best money you will spend all day.


Do you have your favorite spots, say, for easy exit or for location close to hot spots in Wrigleyville? And if so, why?

Well, all of our spots are EZ Out, customers keep their keys and are free to leave whenever they want because they’re never blocked in. We have spots just steps from Wrigley Field and others that are up to 2 blocks away. There’s often a premium for the really close spots. But we also keep a few open for our regulars and seniors.


Are there plans for expansion, say for parking for other big city ballparks like Detroit?

Not really, no. We love the Cubs, and parking for Wrigley Field. It’s something we want to expand locally here in Wrigleyville. We’d like the whole neighborhood to use us. We put cash in our neighbor’s pockets, park responsibly, and even have spots for neighbors coming home that can’t find parking on game day.

We look out for our people. This is our neighborhood and we look forward to growing with it in the coming years.

(CubParking logo courtesy of CubParking.)

Want to know more about the Friendly Confines? Check out my exciting and informative Wrigley Field Guide!

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Book Review: Waiting For The Cubs

Posted by Kurt Smith

(Note: this review and this book were written before the glorious Cubs triumph of 2016. Eamus Catuli!)

Sometimes I think that if the Cubs won the World Series, it would be a gigantic letdown.

When the Red Sox finally broke their 86-year jinx in 2004, it was made much sweeter by the way it happened…an unprecedented comeback from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the hated Yankees in the ALCS. That would have been memorable even without a curse, but it lived up to how sweet a long-awaited World Series victory could truly be for Red Sox fans.

What could the Cubs do to match that, especially given that their futility has reached (and now passed) a full century? The White Sox went longer than the Red Sox did without a championship—a full 88 years—but the baseball world outside of Chicago almost yawned when they breezed past the Astros in the 2005 World Series.

No Longer Waiting.

There hardly seems any way an end to the Cubs drought could match the buildup. Floyd Sullivan, author of “Waiting For The Cubs: The 2008 Season, the Hundred-Year Slump and One Fan’s Lifelong Vigil”, doesn’t seem overly worried about the possibility.

Most people appreciate that it’s tough being—or more correctly staying—a Cubs fan. But until one reads Sullivan’s account of the 2008 season, one doesn’t really feel the effect of a lifetime of devotion without a payoff and with no proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.


Cubs win blue w

A blue W. For “Victory”.

Throughout the book, despite that the Cubs have one of their best seasons in years, Sullivan—and his equally devoted Cubs fan family—are always expecting the other shoe to drop, always waiting for the imminent disaster to befall their heroes.

One could hardly blame them, especially after the 2003 NLCS, when Steve Bartman’s unfortunate blunder sparked a legendary collapse. Despite that a writer of Sullivan’s skill could have easily put a few gratuitously heart-wrenching pages in his book about the incident, he almost skims over the subject, informing the reader that “if you’re interested in reliving it, Google Steve Bartman.”

Sullivan writes from a personal angle, but the book never feels like someone telling his own story. Instead he shares the pain and occasional euphoria of being a Cubs fan, something his family and friends, and certainly any fan, can relate to. At one point he humorously shares the possible double meaning of what his children get written on their Wrigley brick dedication, which reads simply, “Thanks, Dad”.

His family has moved from Chicago to York, Pennsylvania; and while this precludes frequent trips to the Friendly Confines each year, it does enable him and his family to see the visiting club in both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, which they do frequently, with a trip to Washington thrown in. His description of Nationals Park, which opened in 2008, is spot-on accurate.

His tales of trips to Pittsburgh are hilariously fraught with the dangers of the western PA Turnpike (with which I can definitely identify), but also a couple of weather miscalculations…one trip ends with a game postponed in what he believed was hardly a downpour, as a result he cancelled a later trip on his own due to torrential rain and missed a full nine innings of Cubs baseball at PNC Park.

Waiting For The Cubs

It did.

The book mainly focuses on the story of the Cubs’ 2008 season, with some side tales of Cubs fan agony. It’s the centennial of the team’s last World Series championship (yes, that was in 1908), but it’s also a season where fans believe the team has the best chance to break the curse that befalls them, with pitchers like Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster and Carlos Marmol, and position players like Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez and Kosuke Fukudome.

Despite that the Cubs won 97 games and the NL Central Division in 2008, though, Sullivan never seems to believe that the Cubs will achieve the ultimate glory—indeed he almost predicts an easy victory for the Dodgers, the Cubs NLDS opponent. It bears out, with the Dodgers whitewashing the Cubs 3-0 in the series. Another Cubs season, as he puts it, ending with a loss.

But it’s not all bad…the family actually meets Ryan Dempster over the winter.

“Waiting For The Cubs” concludes with the story behind the Fred Merkle boner that cost the Giants the 1908 pennant…seemingly the last time that the baseball gods smiled on the Chicago Cubs…and Sullivan does a better job than most at clearing up what really happened that day at the Polo Grounds.

Many books have been written about the Chicago Cubs and their futility, but few of them capture the mind of the Cubs fan. Sullivan does it perfectly, making the story both personal and universal. No Cubs fan reading this book would disagree.

Nor, in fact, would any baseball fan. Highly recommended, whether you’re a fan of the Cubs, White Sox or Cardinals.

Cubs Win

You can still hear Harry saying it.

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