You can’t walk very far in Chicago without seeing someone sporting the iconic Cubs logo. The team’s passionate fans are still celebrating the 2016 World Series win which helped the team’s popularity soar even more. Prior to that, the team’s championship drought stood at 108 years and was the longest in professional sports. Watching a Cubs game at the historic Wrigley Field is a must-do Chicago experience, even for non-sports fans.
Wrigley Field – Home of the Chicago Cubs
The Cubs play their home games at Wrigley Field – it was opened in 1914 under the name Weeghman Park. The Cubs moved in in 1916 before the team was acquired by William Wrigley Jr – yes of the chewing gum fame – in 1921 and the stadium was renamed to Wrigley Field!
The huge red marquee above the main entrance is iconic and instantly recognisable to fans. It’s been part of Wrigley Field since 1934. The electronic message board was added in 1982.
Wrigley Field is one of only two baseball parks in the USA that still uses a manually operated scoreboard (the other one is at Fenway Park in Boston). Installed in 1937 it’s a historic part of the stadium and displays game stats and also scores from other matches around the country. To take a look at what goes on behind the scoreboard, check out this article.
Gameday – Where to sit at Wrigley Field
Experiencing a Cubs game at Wrigley Field is a memorable experience regardless of where you sit but some seats are naturally better than others. During my last visit, I had standing room-only tickets so used the opportunity to walk around the ballpark to experience views from different parts of Wrigley Field.
The most desirable seats are going to be behind home plate or near the dugouts. These are of course a lot more expensive and harder to come by (especially during the playoffs) but bring you really close to the action.
Upper Deck Box seats in sections 411-430 give good unobstructed views of the action and the whole ballpark.
For something a little different, try and get tickets for one of the rooftops outside Wrigley Field. These are officially endorsed by the Cubs and offer a unique view of the proceedings. These are great for groups of friends and can often include food and drink packages too.
While I have not personally sat there, the bleachers provide a classic baseball experience. The atmosphere is really social and you will have an opportunity to catch the coveted home run ball should the batters be on fire!
The Seventh-Inning Stretch
The seventh-inning stretch is an old baseball tradition which takes place in between halves of the seventh inning. Chicago Cubs embrace it in true style at Wrigley Field. Local celebrities or sporting heroes lead the crowd in a mass rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”, a song dating back to 1908, and this is one of my favourite parts of being at a Cubs game. You may even spot Bill Murray, a huge Cubs fan, singing once in a while.
Buying Cubs Gear
There are also plenty of places where you can buy Cubs merchandise in and around Wrigley Field. Official stores at the stadium and Wrigleyville Sports by Addison train station have a huge selection of hats, jerseys and other gear
Enjoying beers and hot dogs is a rite of passage at a baseball game. Vendors constantly roam around the stadium so make sure to bring cash! Wrigley Field has loads of other options, too. To see a list of what’s available and where to get the tastiest food at Wrigley Field, check out Eater’s handy guide.
Watching Baseball at Wrigley Field – Details
When: Baseball regular season runs from April until the end of September with each team playing 162 games (81 at home). Check www.mlb.com/cubs for the season schedule. The playoffs take place in October and November.
Where: The nearest train station to Wrigley Field is Addison on the Red Line. Alternatively, Uber it over – prices will surge just before and after games though!
Getting Tickets: It’s pretty easy to score tickets at Wrigley Field’s box office on game day but booking in advance is recommended, just in case. Tickets for individual games can be bought at www.mlb.com/cubs or from various approved ticket selling vendors. I recommend www.stubhub.com which is safe and easy to use.
How Much: Prices will depend on the seats you choose, the opponent and whether there are any special promotions on. Due to the team’s success, the tickets are some of the most expensive in the league. If you don’t mind sitting in the bleachers though, you can get tickets for around $30-$35. 2018 prices haven’t been announced yet but I will update this post once they are!
Stadium Tours: To get behind the scenes of Wrigley Field and learn more about this iconic ballpark, it’s possible to join an official tour. This is a must-do for any baseball fan and tours take in the bleachers, press box and even the dugouts themselves on non-game days. To check the schedules and book, click here.
Need to Know: The Cubs’ long World Series drought was attributed by many to the Curse of the Billy Goat – supposedly placed on the team in 1945 by a disgruntled tavern owner who, along with his pet goat, was thrown out of Wrigley Field during a game.