My Travels – MLB Stadiums: Wrigley Field, Chicago Cubs (April 21, 2012)

After seeing the Rockies win a thriller over the Brewers, Kara and I headed back to our hotel for the night. Right before bed we realized something… Guess who’s playing in Chicago tomorrow afternoon? Da Cubs. The Lovable Losers, the team that can’t even spell World Series, the North Side mob who curses at the name of Steve Bartman, the Completely Unimportant By September Cubs were playing Cincinnati the next afternoon at Wrigley. We hopped on StubHub, lassoed a few tickets (plus one for my youngest sister Jillian), and set an early alarm for the next morning.

We arrived to watch a great game with the Reds. I lived in Chicago for six years so this was the latest in multiple visits to Wrigley, but this was Kara’s first visit. Amidst 40 degree weather and limited sunshine, the Cubs came back to win in very uncharacteristic fashion and sent us home with stadium number five checked off our list. Five down, twenty-five to go.

When it comes to visiting Wrigley, let’s be honest: it’s Wrigley. You’re going to see historic landmarks all around you. Wrigleyville itself is a historic landmark and the vibe at a home game is second to none. Feel free to frequent any of the more historic houses and businesses before the game to walk through history. Here are a few other tips to keep in mind…

  • Parking is where you need to be careful. I’d recommend finding any way to park for free next to a Red Line stop and then riding it all the way to Wrigley. Parking alone can easily cost you $20 or more, so either come with deep pockets or pay a couple bucks each way to ride the L.
  • As far as food goes, the ballpark food is fairly decent, but why settle for a hot dog when you can get unbelievable food all around Wrigleyville?! Do yourself a favor: go to the game early. The pre-game vibe, the Chicago accent, and the myriad of great smells from a variety of restaurant kitchens is enough to kick off your game day just right.
  • Chicago 101: If you get a Chicago dog at the ballpark, don’t put ketchup on it. That ruins it.
  • Because Wrigley is old and the historic look of the park is being preserved, there are limited modern additions for fans. No Jumbotron, no electronic lineup with stats, no out-of-town highlight tracker, and limited pitcher/batter info. It’s history and it’ll stay that way until the build another one.
  • Wrigley is very windy. And cold. Some of the coldest baseball I’ve ever experienced has been at Wrigley. Bring a jacket and wear pants if the game isn’t in mid-season.
  • Tickets are super easy to get outside the ballpark, but online tickets tend to get pricey. Spoiler alert: it’s not because the Cubs have an amazing championship record; it’s for the Wrigley experience. The ivy, the historic look, the fan loyalty, all of those add to the price… but the price is worth saying you’ve been to Wrigley.

Here’s a pic from our afternoon with the Cubs… (Credit goes to Jillian for taking a great picture)

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