Tag Archives: chicago white sox parking tips
Posted by Kurt Smith
Planning to go to a Chicago White Sox baseball game? Here are my best Guaranteed Rate Field parking tips – including alternate routes, tavern shuttles, and of course, money saving advice!
Guaranteed Rate Field, unlike its neighbor Wrigley Field to the north, offers ample enough parking that getting there by car is generally easy enough, and in some cases preferable to getting there by CTA train or other means. (I’ll discuss those in a future post.)
I’ve covered a lot here, so I’m breaking it down for you:
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Guaranteed Rate Field Parking Tip #1: Alternate Routes to White Sox Games. Guaranteed Rate is located at Exit 55 (35th Street exit) off Interstate 90/94, also called the Dan Ryan Expressway. It is visible from the highway, and the parking lots at the ballpark are right there after exiting.
The Dan Ryan was once ranked by a heavy traffic research company as the second worst bottleneck of traffic in America. But the positive of such problems is that generous and busy Internet users post alternate routes, which can still be used today for high attendance games.
I haven’t tried these routes myself, but they might be worth a look if you don’t want to get caught up in the herd:
Going north on I-57 from the south: Exit at Halstead Street just before the merge with I-90/94. Turn left to go north on Halstead, then turn left on 95th St. (U.S. Route 12/20) and then right on Ashland Avenue. Follow Ashland all the way to 35th St., and then turn right towards the ballpark.
Going north on I-90/94 from south of the city: Instead of using exit 55A onto South LaSalle St., use exit 55B to S. LaSalle, and then make a left onto Pershing Road. From there you can make a right onto South Princeton Avenue towards the ballpark.
This route backwards, incidentally, can make for an easier exit. (I mean following the steps in reverse, not actually driving backwards.)
Coming from the south using I-90 or I-94: Use the Stony Island Avenue exit (it’s closer to the park from I-90). Go north on Stony Island Avenue, following the signs to Lake Shore Drive (Stony Island turns into South Cornell Avenue and East 57th Street).
Head north on Lake Shore Drive (U.S. Route 41) to 31st Street, and make a left and head west on 31st. After passing under I-90/94, turn left on Wentworth and head south on Wentworth till you get to the ballpark.
Coming from southwest on I-55 (Stevenson Expressway) North: Use the South Ashland Avenue exit and make a right onto S. Ashland. Take S. Ashland to 35th St. and turn left towards the ballpark.
Coming from the west on I-290 (Eisenhower Expressway): Use the Ashland Avenue exit; head south on Ashland and make a left on 35th.
From the northwest/O’Hare: Use I-90 and merge with I-90/94 east, use the Roosevelt Road exit, and head west on Roosevelt to Halstead. Make a left on Halstead and head south until reaching 35th St. Turn left on 35th towards the ballpark.
Again, I would only use these if the I-90/94 Dan Ryan traffic is particularly bad. The Dan Ryan is supposedly much better since the construction period. In many cases, you can just use Halstead St. or Ashland Avenue if you’re looking for a back road.
One more thing about driving to Guaranteed Rate Field: coming from outside metropolitan Chicago, be sure to have an EZPass or IPass. Illinois rivals New Jersey in toll roads (and that’s saying something). If you don’t have a toll pass, just go to the Illinois Tollway website and look up your license plate.
Guaranteed Rate Field Parking Tip #2: White Sox Parking. The White Sox have a large amount of available parking in their official lots close to the ballpark, approximately 7,000 parking spaces. It’s usually enough, especially since plenty of fans use public transportation to go to games. You can view their parking info here.
As of 2023, the parking price is $27 when pre-paid, and $30 at the gate; for Sunday games that drops to $17 and $20 respectively. All of the Sox lots cost the same, so no need to waste time circling the park. The Sox sell their advance parking through ParkWhiz, and there’s a fee included, so there isn’t any savings buying in advance, but you’ll have a better spot.
Season ticket and multi-game plan members can buy their parking in advance at a cheaper price (about $5 less a game), and you might find a cheaper pass on eBay. The coupons require parking in a certain lot, so you can check the Sox website if you land one to see where to use it.
The signs directing drivers to the parking areas are color-coded for pre-paid coupons. The pre-paid red lots A, B, and C are north of the ballpark and are far more accessible to and from the Interstate; green lots F and L are west and south of the ballpark take longer to exit. You should probably get a pre-paid pass, just to be in a better spot.
If you haven’t bought a parking pass, keep in mind you’ll be parking in Lots F or L south of the ballpark, so plan your entrance accordingly. Also, don’t bother with cash…it’s credit cards or debit parking only on the day of game nowadays. I’ve read they’ll take cash, but the attendants won’t be happy about it.
The Sox open their lots two hours before first pitch on game days. If you’re early enough you don’t need to worry about pre-purchasing a spot, except for Opening Day or a Cubs game, but it’s only a buck or two more to do it.
If parking does fill up, which is rare, the Sox will provide shuttle service from The McCormick Place Garage C (29th Street and Fort Dearborn Drive), and at IIT east of the ballpark.
Lot A is now designated for rideshare service and bus parking; it stays open an hour after the game ends.
If you break down in the lot after the game, you can go to a Guest Relations booth or find a parking lot supervisor, and they’ll usually arrange for towing your car if needed.
Finally, if the game is postponed, you can use the parking coupon for a future game. Details on the back of the coupon.
Honestly, even though it’s pricey by major league baseball standards, my best advice for White Sox game parking is to buy a pre-paid pass and park in one of the official lots. Arrive early if you can to avoid the bottlenecks. If you want to save money and are including a meal with your game, try one of the tavern shuttles below.
Guaranteed Rate Field Parking Tip #3: White Sox Tailgating. The Sox encourage tailgating, even to the point of offering picnic tables and space for private tailgating parties. Should you gather a group for a party, the Sox give discounts for tickets and will even throw in some parking passes. No kegs, large grills, DJs, or loud music unfortunately. Remember to park your bus in Lot A.
The tailgating scene at the South Side is popular in White Sox fandom. It’s not quite at the level of American Family Field 90 miles north in Milwaukee, but often there will be bands playing, bag-throwing games or folks giving out freebies. Tailgating stops when the game starts and is not allowed after the game—and nor is bringing alcohol outside of the lot.
There are restrooms near the main entrance of the park or in the ChiSox Bar & Grill restaurant that you can use, and there are receptacles in most lots to dump your hot coals.
If you’d like to reserve a tailgating spot from the White Sox for your baseball party, you can do that here. The nice part of that is that you can show up three hours before game time instead of two, so no need to slam those beers down on the clock.
Since the Sox reserve tailgating spaces in Lots B and E, that’s the place to wander around if you want to have a brew and sausage with tailgating Sox faithful.
Guaranteed Rate Field Parking Tip #4: Street Parking and Other Lots. You won’t have an easy time finding nearby street parking at the ballpark. Since the neighborhood has been condo-fied, street ordinances have been put in place to protect the locals’ parking spots. Parking without a residential parking permit in the wrong spot will get you a very stiff fine and a towing.
West of the park in the Halstead St. area are meters that only need to be fed until 6:00 PM, but you could have some difficulty finding these, and unless you live in the area, you may not be comfortable leaving your car there.
Some residents and businesses west of the park on 35th, like the 35th Street Red Hots people, will sell you their parking spots, but you probably won’t find any real bargains—the main attraction is the easy exit after the game, so they claim. Not sure how, since you’re further from the interstate, but maybe it’s because it takes a while to empty those large White Sox lots.
The Grandstand store west of the ballpark on 35th has a lot across the street, and you’re close to a great Chicago sports team store with cool gear there if that interests you. I’m guessing stuff there is cheaper than at the ballpark.
I’ve read in forums that you can park for free on side streets off of 35th; just east of the Dan Ryan near IIT and the Green Line stop. That is where the neighborhood has reportedly improved, but it’s the south side of Chicago, so that one is up to you.
Try Chinatown… There is a parking lot near the Cermak-Chinatown Station of the CTA Red Line north of the park; parking there for ten hours is cheaper than at the ballpark and it’s a one-stop trip on the Red Line (it’s a long walk, about 15 blocks, I wouldn’t do it at night).
On weekdays you might be able to find cheap metered parking in the area, and even with the extra few bucks for the Red Line, it’s still a good deal.
There is even some free street parking in Chinatown (I’ve seen cars parked on Wentworth Street), if you have time to look around near the station a bit and get lucky. But if you see a sign that says “Don’t Park Here”, obey it.
There are also many places where you can grab a bite or fill up your goody bag in Chinatown; remember you can bring your own food into the ballpark.
For that matter, you could book a cheaper spot anywhere near the Red Line or Green Line if you’re comfortable with an area in Chicago, or want to be somewhere in the city after the game. Both lines have a station near the ballpark.
Guaranteed Rate Field Parking Tip #5: White Sox Game Shuttles. So, where do you go if you don’t want to pay the parking fees? There are actually dining establishments in the area that will take you to the park:
Buffalo Wings and Rings on South Halstead St. west of the park runs a shuttle an hour before the game and will pick you up for 30 minutes after the game. They have free valet parking and parking in the back if there is space available, and there is also metered parking nearby on Halstead.
It’s ideal if you love beer and wings. Wings come in a large variety of flavors, including sweet Thai chili, lemon pepper, and (I’m not making this up) blueberry chipotle BBQ. Blueberry chipotle BBQ wings, beer and free parking…what could go better with White Sox baseball!
Connie’s Pizza The Bridgeport location of Connie’s Pizza offers free parking in their lot, and if you dine in their restaurant, they’ll give you a ride in their free shuttle bus. The bus runs for an hour before and after games.
Their pizza is no slouch of course…as I write this, it’s #322 of 10,820 Chicago restaurants on TripAdvisor, putting Connie’s in the something percentile which is pretty good in this town. It’s true deep dish pizza, and combined with a White Sox game is a full Chicago experience.
Connie’s also offers game day specials, so enjoy a beer or two before the game, especially since you won’t have to drive.
Ricobene’s The Ricobene’s restaurant on West 26th St. has a free shuttle to Sox games for patrons; they draw pretty good crowds on Sox game nights not just for the shuttle but for the food; the hefty breaded steak sandwich and pizzas are especially popular. Check out the Yelp reviews…this place is revered.
Ricobene’s has ample parking with a lot under I-90 and there’s some street parking nearby, and reportedly they’re very good about accommodating anyone who needs a lift to the game, even for leaving the game early.
Reggies Live on South State St. is a good hike away from the park but will take patrons to and from Sox games on their own very cool-looking “Reggies Rock Bus”. It’s just a block away from the Chinatown station on the Red Line or the Cermak-McCormick Place station on the Green Line. You can use those if you don’t want to wait or if you miss the bus after the game.
There is some metered parking on State St., but it is difficult to find, and there is a cover to get in, so this is best for folks interested in a show or a party after the game. That said, lots of folks will tell you Reggies is worth it.
Reggie’s occasionally even throws in a package that includes free bleacher ticket to the game and a BBQ with the ride, so it can make for a pretty cool and economical Chicago evening. You can hang out in the music club or on a rooftop deck (there’s even a retro record store), and the wings here are mighty popular.
A meal and a ride to the ballgame is great, but these things tend to be shaky…I would check with any of these establishments before making them part of your game plan, even though I’m sharing these four because they seem to be consistent.
There you go my friends, all of my best tips for Chicago White Sox game parking. Hope you found it useful…stay tuned, I’ll soon be offering other ways to get to games at the new Comiskey Park.
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