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Find Your Seat at Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field has a reputation as a hitter’s park, a band-box of a ball yard from a different era where home runs regularly go flying out. Well, it depends which way the wind is blowing.

A seasoned Cubs fan glances up at the flags atop the center field scoreboard before even entering Wrigley to get an idea what type of game they’ll see that day. Wind blowing out: a homer-fest. Blowing in: pitchers’ duel.

If you’re looking to snag one of those home run balls, get your hands on a ticket to the bleachers and line up long before the opening pitch for a prime spot in either the left- or right-field bleachers. These tickets are some of the hottest at Wrigley, and if you don’t get any ahead of time, there are always scalpers prowling around.

And look at those flags before you take your seat, as they’ll give you an idea which section might be more promising (the pennants will also tell you what’s going on in the National League, as they’re arranged by division on three separate poles and in order from top to bottom of that day’s standings.)

Here’s a tip: If you can’t get to the park early (or don’t want to leave the bar), it’s still possible to get a prime spot. The bleachers often look packed from the concourse, but walk all the way down to the front row and begin scouting spots from the bottom up. Usually there are seats available that you can’t see from above.

And don’t be afraid to ask someone to scoot over a little; by the second beer and third inning, they’ll be like a long-lost friend.

If you can’t swing a bleacher seat—they’re $45 for ‘prime’ games now (ouch) and much more with the scalpers’ markup—you can always hang with the Ballhawks and try to snag a home run ball along Waveland or Sheffield avenues. For what it’s like to experience that, go here.

If you’re looking to finally grab that elusive foul ball, prime spots include up the baselines in both the main grandstand (100 and 200 level seats; try for lower rows in the 200 level or you’ll be up under the overhang) and the front rows of the upper deck (400 level).

Grown men who bring their baseball gloves to the game always seem a little dorky…until one of them nearby snags a screaming liner and has a souvenir to bring home and a story to tell for the rest of his life.