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Experience the Park Wrigley Field Fan Guide
Get to the Game
So, is it the ‘L’ or the ‘El?’ Either, really. Many publications use ‘El,’ short for ‘elevated,’ but the Chicago Transit Authority uses ‘L’ on its Web site. Whatever you call it, you should be on it when going to a game at Wrigley, especially if you’re coming to a game from downtown.
The CTA operates the nation’s second largest transit system, and it includes 222 miles of track. The miles that Cub fans care most about are the Red Line. It rides under the city (and under the Chicago River) downtown, and above it north and south. The elevated platform at Addison, rebuilt in 1994 to handle bigger crowds, could hardly be closer to Wrigley. While you’re passing through, check out the Cubs-themed paintings featuring greats like Ernie Banks and Ryne Sandberg. The Belmont and Sheridan stops on the Red Line are also within walking distance of the park if you want to avoid the crowds at Addison. The Southport stop on the CTA’s Brown Line is about 6-7 blocks west of the park, so is also an option.
It’s $2 to ride, and you’ll need to purchase a transit card from one of the automated machines at the station. Don’t wait until after the game to do this. Several bus routes also serve Wrigley, mostly running on Clark and Addison, and special runs take fans to remote parking lots. Check out the CTA’s home page for more information, or go here for some regional public transit options.
Driving isn’t advisable, but if you must here are a few tips:
* If using Lake Shore Drive, pass the Belmont Avenue exit everyone else is waiting at and get off at Irving Park or even Montrose, then double-back on city streets. It’ll be much faster. Similar advice applies if coming from the west and Interstate 90-94: avoid the Addison exit and get off at Irving Park or Belmont. Here are directions.
* Once to Wrigley, finding a parking spot is the next great challenge. The Cubs run a lot a block north of the park, but you must have a pre-purchased pass and it’s not open for night games. You’ll see residents standing by the side of the street and in alleys with signs offering up spots, usually for $20-30, so that’s an option in a pinch. Here’s a tip: If you’re going to a weekday game and get there early, it’s worth cruising the neighborhood and trying to find a free spot on a residential street. You’ll have to be out by 6 p.m., though, or have a residential permit. For this reason don’t try to park on the street during night games, unless you know someone who lives nearby and has a permit you can use; otherwise you’ll be ticketed and likely towed. Here’s some information from the Cubs on parking, but it isn’t much.
The Cubs recently added a place to check your bike that’s in a former car wash right next to the ballpark (just off the corner of Clark and Waveland). Hand over your bike to an attendant and they’ll secure it for up to an hour after the game. And it’s free. The service starts two hours before first pitch.
Fact ... The Red Line runs from the city’s northern border all the way to 95th Street on Chicago’s South Side. Along the way, you can visit the other Chicago ballpark, U.S. Cellular Field, at the Sox/35th Street station. The Red Line might be the only thing Sox and Cubs fans have in common.