Chicago Cubs Bleacher Nation

Most common questions:

What time should I get there?

Gates open 2 hours before the start time – you easily see visitors taking BP, but you pretty much have to get in right when the gates open to see the Cubbies take BP. If you want to pregame, get to Wrigleyville at least 3 hours beforehand, then plan on actually being in the park 20 minutes or so before game time. Use the restroom, grab a beer, and before you know it we’ll be singing the national anthem. If you aren’t pregaming, but rather just hanging out, definitely be there at least an hour before the game begins. The ushers (usually) will let you go down to the field level by the dugout and let you take some pictures – and they know the best spots for pictures as well! You’ll want to check out all of the statues around the ballpark as well – lots of great history involving the park.

How should I get there?

Take the Red Line and get off at Addison – it’s right next to the stadium, and you get to mingle with other fans! Parking is very hard to find, and very pricey as well, if you must drive. there are homeowners around that will sell you their spot for the night; however, from my experience, you won’t find anything cheaper than $20 that’s less than a mile from the stadium.

Best seats in the house?

Bleachers to have fun, 400s to watch the game. This is a good article on avoiding the crappy seats with obstructed views. Unfortunately, I’ve been spoiled with some awesome seats (front row behind the plate once, and in a corporate suite two or three times), and I’ve never sat in the bleachers, but I can provide a helpful link that describe the seats for any scenario you might encounter

Also, be advised that you can’t get into the bleachers (even during batting practice) without a bleacher ticket. On the other hand, with a bleacher ticket you can go too and from the main concourse area.

What can I bring in?

All bags will be subjected to search by security. This list is pulled directly from the Cubs’ website:

“The following items will not be permitted:

HARD-SIDED COOLERS OF ANY SIZE AND/OR TYPE THERMOSES

LARGE BAGS, LUGGAGE ETC., OVER THE SIZE OF 16″ X 16″ X 8″

BOTTLES, CANS, ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES (sealed plastic bottles of water and soft drinks not exceeding one liter acceptable)

There will be no claim checks available for hard-sided coolers at the gates. Bags over the size limit will be claim checked only after inspection.

The following items will be permitted:

BAGS, PURSES, FANNY PACKS AND BACKPACKS SMALLER THAN THE SIZE LIMIT 16″ X 16″ X 8″

SMALL SOFT-SIDED COOLERS

STROLLERS

WHEELCHAIRS

“All permitted items will be subject to search.”

Food and beer prices inside the park?

Cheapest beer I’ve seen (and I could be wrong, since I’ve been to one game as a legal adult) is $6. however, in my humble opinion, every legal adult must drink one Old Style at Wrigley Field at some point. as for food, there are only a handful of options worth the money:

The Chicago Hot Dog. It’s all caps for a reason – it’s a Chicago thing! HOWEVER: get a hot dog from the carts in the concourse, not from the concession stands! The concession doesn’t have the proper fixings for your Chicago Hot Dog. Your Chicago Hot Dog includes the following: onions, sweet relish, mustard, tomatoes, peppers, celery salt, and a pickle spear. Notice that there is no ketchup on your Chicago Hot Dog. Do not put ketchup on your Chicago Hot Dog unless are under 18, you will be relentlessly made fun of.

The Batting Helmet Nachos. I’m not 100% what they’re called, but for around $18 you can get a regulation sized batting helmet filled with nachos. 100% worth the price, share it with your SO and/or more, and you get to take home a souvenir!

Old Style. Look, it’s a $7.75 beer that tastes only a hair better than PBR. But it’s Wrigley tradition, so I believe every legal adult should experience it at least once. Unless you’re my grandfather, who drinks that stuff religiously. You must look around a little bit for it, as Wrigley signed a contract with Budweiser.

What about before/after the game?

Wrigleyville is loaded with great food and drink. However, your best bet would be to hit up /r/Chicago and check out their suggestions – they are much more well versed than I, and you should be able to find something very easily by utilizing the search bar. Alternately, the threads linked above provide many excellent suggestions as well! I’m not lazy, I’m just…okay, maybe I’m just lazy. Also, the consensus among Redditors is that should you choose to pre- or postgame, all the bars will be crowded, and they all have a similar atmosphere, so just pick one to start and then bar hop.

How friendly are the Friendly Confines?

Basically, if you aren’t starting shit, you’ll be just fine. Here’s an accurate thread about it.