Wrigley Field is one of the most iconic stadiums in all of Major League Baseball and every fan should see it at least once.
That doesn’t mean it’s a great stadium.
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts has placed more of an effort to build up the area around Wrigley — known as Wrigleyville — than he has on fan amenities inside the stadium. Wrigley Field did undergo renovations to add new video boards in the outfield, an action that created controversy with owners of the Wrigleyville rooftop seats, but most of the renovations inside the stadium itself were upgrades made to the archaic team clubhouses.
Going to a game at Wrigley is a blast, but you go for the mystique, not for the amenities.
Most times I have traveled to Chicago in the past, I have taken public transportation. Whether it be taking the Megabus from St. Louis or taking a Metra train and then the “L” — those are the best options. If you are staying there, you park the car and never move it until you leave. The Cubs strongly encourage the use of public transportation.
I am glad we got the experience of taking the free shuttle and seeing the Cubs Care-funded wheel-chair baseball and Little League fields along our route, but never again shall I try to drive to that area.
Take the “L.”
Traffic around Wrigley Field is a nightmare and there is heavy foot traffic. If you do choose to drive your own vehicle toward Clark and Addison, there is a free parking lot on Rockwell Street that offers a free shuttle to and from Wrigley Field for night and weekend games. This is the option we chose, but it also took us two hours to drive 56 miles to get there. The train is your best option for Wrigley with the Red Line stop right at the stadium.
To me the “Friendly Confines” is, well, confining. While I love Wrigleyville, the fabled ivy, and the old manual scoreboard, I have never cared for the stadium in general.
While it is a nice familiar place on our ever-moving trip across this vast country, the concourses are crowded, there are obstructed views and walking around the top sections is not really an option. That said, the fans make this place what it is: a great place to see a game. One day I will do so from one of the rooftops.
When you go to a game on a Tuesday night, you don’t expect the stadium to be sold out. But, even on an unseasonably cool June night, there were 41,000 people at Wrigley Field to see the Cubs beat the Dodgers on Albert Almora’s walk-off single.
Wrigley’s mystique and the passionately exuberant Cubs fans give the stadium a special feel.
Patti and Ron both say:
We didn’t get a Chicago Dog at Guaranteed Rate Field, but it was the first thing we ordered at Wrigley. Unfortunately Ron was disappointed with a make-it-yourself footlong that came on a white bun that was already falling apart. Once we got all the condiments added, the hot dog still tasted good, but was just underwhelming. Patti had mixed feelings about being able to load the traditional neon green relish, peppers, etc. herself. It does take away the charm of this Chicago tradition.
There are other food options at Wrigley, including the new Chef Series located in the right-field corner on the main concourse. Multiple burger, hot dog and chicken choices can be found throughout the stadium and you go won’t go thirsty with a plethora of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages from which to choose.
If you want to sit in an area with an obstructed view, you can get cheap tickets at Wrigley Field. But those seats aren’t exactly ideal or a great value.
The concession prices aren’t bad, but overall, games at Wrigley Field have been increasingly more expensive over the last few years as the Ricketts family spends money to upgrade the roster and the area.
Wrigley Field doesn’t offer much in terms of extras. As stated above, the money spent to improve the stadium has been allocated for team clubhouses and the Wrigleyville neighborhood.
The free Rockwell lot is nice, but those shuttles back to the lot stop running just an hour after the game ends. That limits time you might want to spend exploring Wrigleyville following a game.
We had previously been to Chicago and spent significant time in Wrigleyville, which is one of the best ballpark neighborhoods in the country. There is a vast variety of bars and restaurants to patron before and after games.
Chicago’s public transportation is fabulous, though we didn’t use it on this trip because we had to stay in an RV park over 50 miles away.
Chicago is a very fun city with everything you’d want in terms of entertainment, shopping and food. Like New York, however, you probably wouldn’t want to own a car if you lived there — especially with Chicago’s ubiquitous tollways.