Chicago IL 60605
- Mon: 12am-12am
- Tue: 12am-12am
- Wed: 12am-12am
- Thu: 12am-12am
- Fri: 12am-12am
- Sat: 12am-12am
- Sun: 12am-12am
One of the oldest major sports venues in the nation, Soldier Field is home to the NFL's Chicago Bears. Situated between Lake Shore Drive and Lake Michigan, the 61,000-seat stadium is also a popular venue for college and high school football, soccer and concerts. While Soldier Field underwent major renovations in the early 2000s, it still holds some of its historic charm with the colonades on the east and west sides of the stadium.
Soldier Field Parking
Parking options are available around Soldier Field, but be prepared for traffic and hefty prices. The main lots (North Lot, Waldron Garage, South Garage and the Alder Planetarium Lot) fill up fast, so be sure to get there several hours in advance. The cost to park in the stadium lots runs $30 or higher. Alternatively, third-party lots are a few dollars cheaper, but require a much longer walk to get to the stadium. For Bears games, both single-game and season passes are available.
Hotels near Soldier Field
Due to its proximity to downtown Chicago, there are numerous hotel options available near Soldier Field. The best options are the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place or the Hilton Chicago, but both of those will typically cost $150 or higher per night. For a cheaper alternative, look for the variety of hotels around O'Hare or Midway airports, in addition to suburbs like Evanston or Oak Park.
Seating at Soldier Field
With the recent renovations, most of the sight lines in Soldier Field are fairly good. For the better deals, try the 200-level or 300-level seats, as they offer more reasonable pricing without getting too far from the action. There are no specific family-friendly sections, but fans in sideline seats are usually less rowdy.
Food at Soldier Field
Soldier Field's food selection consists of typical stadium food (burgers, brats, etc.) from local companies like Vienna Beef and Bobak's. Soft pretzels, nachos, pizza and popcorn are also available. For the best food, try Robinson's Ribs (near Section 122) or the DMK Burger Bar (multiple locations).
Beer at Soldier Field
Beer options are plentiful at Soldier Field. Among the brands on stock include Miller, Blue Moon and Leinenkugel's, but it will cost you $9-12. Wine and Mai Tais are also available. For the shortest lines, try the upper-level (300-level and 400-level) carts and stands.
Parking Alternatives at Soldier Field
Though the stadium lots are available, public transportation is the easiest way to get to Soldier Field. Multiple CTA lines take you a couple blocks from the stadium, while PACE express buses run from remote lots to drop-off points by the stadium.
What to Bring to Soldier Field
During football season, plan on bringing anything from a light jacket (August and September) to a heavy coat and multiple layers (November and December), as winds from Lake Michigan makes temperatures very cold. For summer events, the layout of the stadium provides plenty of shade in the lower sections, but individuals in the 400-level should plan on applying sunscreen.
Insider Tip for Soldier Field
Because traffic is such a mess around the stadium during events, do your research on public transportation options. The PACE buses offer the best deal ($8-10 roundtrip per person) for getting to and from the stadium during Bears games and run through multiple suburbs.
Author's bio: Michael Benson is a life-long Illinois resident and an avid traveler throughout the Midwest.