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Experience the Park Soldier Field Fan Guide
Get to the Game: Soldier Field
Bears fans are known for their passion and dedication, but the truth is they need a lot of both to deal with the cold Chicago weather as well as a stadium setting that may be the most logistically challenging in the NFL. To put it bluntly, getting to a Bears game can be a pain the ass. Soldier Field is located along Lake Michigan’s crowded shoreline downtown, with the lake on one side and busy Lake Shore Drive the other. To the north are the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium, and Grant Park – a great spot if you’re a tourist dropping in over the summer. If you’re a football fan in December, bundle up and get ready to join the masses trying to navigate your way around.
There’s an underground parking garage just north of the stadium and an above-ground one just to the south (the Waldron Deck), but these are premium spots requiring passes that are expensive and hard to get even if you’re willing to pay. There is more parking in Grant Park, at the McCormick Place convention center to the south and other far-off spots, and they’re served by shuttle buses – not a bad deal before the game but not fun standing in line afterward. For driving directions and parking info, head here: www.soldierfieldparking.com. Several CTA bus lines serve the stadium, and many fans take advantage of that, and the Roosevelt Road stop on the Red Line subway is a popular choice. But again, it’s about a 20-minute walk to the station and sometimes more afterward as fans are herded through Grant Park. Chicago’s finest are on hand to keep fans moving forward on a single path and prevent them from breaking off onto other paths into the park, which is both maddening and inexplicable.
All of this helps explain a dirty little secret of Bears fandom: it’s not uncommon to see no-shows in the hundreds and even thousand for late season, cold-weather games. Amazingly, there were several thousand no-shows when the Bears hosted the Seahawks in a playoff game after the 2006 season – you can look it up. Some of that surely had to do with the incredibly erratic play of the team, particularly quarterback Rex Grossman, and a season-ending blowout loss at home to the Packers. But still, the playoffs!
Anyway, this is good news for fans seeking last-minute tickets, especially after the weather turns. Patrol the lots around Soldier Field and the pedestrian bridges under Lake Shore Drive and there are tickets to be had.