Posts Tagged ‘wrigley field’

Sit in the Bleachers at Wrigley

Right Field Bleachers

Right Field Bleachers

On a warm spring night there are few better places than finding yourself in the bleachers at Wrigley Field and hanks to @DreFlair, I got some free tickets!  With a cool breeze you’ll find few more entertaining baseball experiences no matter where your baseball allegiances may lie. I’ve been going to the bleachers since the massive heatwave of 1995 when the temperature hit 106 and sweat stains could be seen on the faded bleachers.  Since then, the @cubs have built more seating, added a Toyota sign, a lounge in center field, and made the line for getting a wristband longer than the line to Hot Doug’s.

Despite these things, here’s why I love going to the bleachers:

The view

The view

When you’re watching baseball on TV, the view is always from the center field cameras.  Behind the mound, you get to see where the catcher is setting up, if a runner is out or safe, and catch when the bullpen is warming up.  Watching the outfielders shift every so often lets you know where they think the ball is going to go.  I love taking pictures from the bleachers!

You can try to feed the players

You can try to feed the players

For whatever reason, Cubs fans make no sense.  Half come to the game unprepared to pay any attention, while the vast majority drink until they can’t think, throwing food and sometimes drenching players in a cold cup of beer.  Whether you are a diehard fan of baseball who shudders to think of missing a play or someone more interested in tweeting on the ignorance of the fans all game, you’ll nary find a crowd that reacts with no sense of logic in baseball.

Fans with a deathwish


Call me old school, but back in the day Cubs fans prided themselves that the Wave did not and could not happen in Wrigley.  You save that nonsense for the other foo-foo ballparks around the country.  In the past three games I’ve gone to I’ve seen one wave go through the stadium umpteen times, at another game a set of fools attempted the Wave and were shouted down, and last night’s Wave which stopped as soon as it went up. Totally unacceptable fan behavior.

Maximum leg room in the latter innings

Maximum leg room in the latter innings

If the Cubs are losing heavily, you’ll have no trouble finding that extra legroom you’ve always dreamed about. Fans trickle out each inning as the Cubs will likely face another 100-loss season.  As the “L’s” start piling up, you can rest assured that new seats will open up after the seventh inning stretch.

The bleachers are as glorious as they are obnoxious.  Regardless of the circumstance, I would make sure to stop for a bleacher game if I ever had to leave Chicago for good.

October Baseball at Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field

October baseball is a metaphor for playoff baseball but with the Cubs dropping a whopping 101 games this season (and counting), the playoffs are likely a few years away.  Despite the lack of playoff hopes, it’s still a fun experience to go to the ballpark at cut rate prices.  Tickets these days for for $1 on StubHub and $25+ for Club Box seats – not bad, considering some of these Club Box seats go to triple digits in the summertime.

Having forgotten the football schedule, I got myself two 4th row seats behind the bullpen for $30 each. September baseball in Wrigley is usually freezing but this year’s warm weather meant no coat and no complaining except for $7.50 beers.

Cubs Bullpen

Cubs Bullpen

Game highlights were surely absent as the Cubs were 2-hit and shut out by the worst team in the league.  The game still had attendance of 32,167, but there were more empty seats than I could remember.

@lenandbob Sing the Stretch

@lenandbob Sing the Stretch

Tradition still stay alive  in Wrigley as @lenandbob sand the stretch.  What was worse than watching that 100th loss was spotting unruly fans in the center field bleachers successfully start the Wave.

Call me old-fashioned, but I believe the Wave has no place being in Wrigley.  The last game I attended in the summer, 5 fans sitting two rows in front of me attempted to start the Wave.  I immediately began shouting at them to sit down and desist in their buffoonery and others joined in to successfully prevent the Wave from hitting the stands.  Unfortunately for me, this time I was too far away and could only watch in shame as the Wave made its way around Wrigley Field round after round.

Five years from now maybe we’ll see real October baseball in Chicago, until then – Epstein, you’ve got a lot of work to do! Please note, if you ever see the Wave at Wrigley yell at those responsible and refuse to participate!!

#68 – Check out a Cubs Rooftop

Down the Line Rooftop

Down the Line Rooftop

Thanks to a recent coupon promotion, I was able to snag some cheap rooftop seats and get a chance to see what all the hubbub was all about. I was a bit worried since I got to the gate and there was a line that was stretching too far even though it was an hour before the game. Someone let me know that I was in the line for Skybox on Sheffield and was relieved when I found myself in a much shorter line and quickly up the steps to the rooftop.

Some rooftops, if you don’t get there in time, chances are you’ll be stuck standing all game or watching the game on TV from the second floor. Luckily, I got in line early enough to skip losing out on the game of musical chairs. Seating options included bleacher style risers, a few couches, and some metal patio setup but they were all taken save the risers.

Rooftop Seats

Rooftop Seats

The risers weren’t bad considering the heat and the food and drink flowed even before the game started. The lines for food were longer than the line for drinks which didn’t make much sense, but the lines moved along fairly quickly. Food selections included burgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, brats, chicken sandwiches and chips. The burgers were grilled by the dozen without much attention as they were all frozen and there was plenty of food to load up on before the game began. Beverages included Anheuser-Busch products, Miller offerings, Corona, Heinken, and wines. There was apparently dessert on the second floor but I was too busy hanging out on the top where the real fun was.

Rooftop Seats

Rooftop Seats

Sitting in Wrigley, it would always seem that the view from the rooftops would kind of suck given the distance and extra street everything was behind. Surprisingly, I found the view quite acceptable because even though everything was so much farther away, the height of the seats made up for the distance, you could still see almost everything going on in the stadium.

Second Floor Window

Second Floor Window

All in all not a bad value proposition and a way better financial deal than one you’d get from the stadium across the street depending on how much you ate or drank. With rooftop seating offering an acceptable vantage point, it made the unlimited food and drink more of a bonus than the main draw, however I can easily see why other people might have it the other way around.

More New Ideas for the Chicago Bucket List


Sitting back at Mirabell on the northwest side at FeliciaCago’s tweetup, I got to meet some new characters and pick their brains on Chicago’s best things. Here are some of their ideas:

Padrak (@PadConnelly) from Daytona Beach, Florida

1. Chicago Tunnels Tour

2. Next Restaurant

3. A pint at the Berghoff

4. Play the Wurlitzer at the Chicago Theatre

5. Expresso Macchiato at Intelligentsia

Next is coming soon brought to you by the wizards of Alinea. Will it cost any less? No doubt the food will be just as good. I have yet to try the legendary Berghoff and will need to stop by and investigate why so many people love it. Intelligentsia? I always thought it was some Seattle brand coffee, but looks like Intelligentsia is a pure Chicago invention if you could believe it!

Sean (Princess_Sean) from Seoul, Korea, Columbus, Ohio, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Pohang, South Korea, Chicago Suburbs, Champaign, Illinois and Chicago, Illinois

1. Run the Chicago Marathon (or be a spectator)

2. Architectural boat tours

3. Go to the Signature Room ladies room

Every year the Chicago Marathon hits town, my parents decide to close their nail salon for half of the day. They tell me that they number of people in the street just ruins business, so maybe I will join them next year to watch. I’ll always have a friend running so that means I’ll always have a horse in the race! Sean says word on the street is that the best view in the city is in the Signature Room ladies room – now the question is can a man go in and not get arrested or thrown out?

Tony (@TheTonyHam) from Chicago, Illinois

1. Eat at Alinea

2. Cubs game at Wrigley Field (playoff game!?)

3. Charter fishing off Lake Michigan

4. Italian Beef tour

5. Eat at Harold’s Chicken Shack

Going to a Cubs game is a great idea but now I am reminded that they have tours of Wrigley Field during the season. I will make sure to sign up for one of these stat as it’s about $25 to catch a tour of Wrigley. Tony made charter fishing seem super exciting, so it will be worth it to round up some people who love to fish and hit the lake to catch some salmon. The Italian Beef Crawl is always a blast but a self-organized beef tour to try the best Italian beefs in the city is manageable. Harold’s chicken rules – added to the list.

Mitch (@refrigeration)

1. Danny’s Tavern

2. Japanese Garden (Osaka Garden)

3. SushiSamba

4. Buckingham Fountain

5. Blues Fest

Danny’s is a great spot in Bucktown/Wicker Park to get your dance on and I’ve always had a great tiem there. I have no ventured forth to Osaka Garden but can make this trip in the spring. SushiSamba is interesting since I’ve always gone there for cocktails and still haven’t eaten there yet!!

Tammie (@tamj) from Des Plaines, Illinois

1. Maxwell Street Polish at Express Grill or Jim’s Original

2. Go to Lincoln Park Zoo

3. Check out an event or concert in Grant Park

4. Architectural boat tour

5. Shopping on Michigan Avenue

6. A night out in Viagra Triangle

7. Kit Kat Lounge in Boystown

8. Cubs game and barhop in Wrigleyville

9. Visit Bahai Temple in Wilmette

10. Get a Chicago style hot dog at Portillo’s

11. Have pizza at Pizano’s

12. Skydeck at Sears Tower

13. The Signature Room at the Hancock Observatory

14. Tea at the Drake Hotel

15. Great America

16. Random casino junket thingie

This is an impressive to do list covering food, the arts, shopping, and random adventure. Have I have a Jim’s Original Maxwell Street Polish Sausage? Ashamedly so, I have not and it’s been added to my list! A trip to Lincoln Park Zoo would probably give me the opportunity to try out my telezoom lens. I have seen the Bahai Temple at night in Wilmette, it had a pristine look to it with the lights shining directly on it, maybe they have tours for the interior.

That’s all for today’s Chicago Bucket List suggestions, please send more in if you have any great ideas!

#43 – Watch a Cubs Game from a Company Suite


I remember my first Cubs game, my dad got some company tickets near the third base line and my dad didn’t watch baseball. Instead he dropped my brother and I off at Wrigley Field while we watched the game against the Braves. I’m pretty sure they lost that day but I was the beneficiary of corporate tickets. Fast forward to this past weekend and a good friend of mine @TheAW gave me a call and let me know he had one extra ticket for the company suite at the game! Of course there was World Cup going on and of course I was going to go do a million other things and meet people, but would I drop all these plans to go see the Cubs? The answer was a resounding, “YES!” and I found myself up the stairs to the suite in no time!

Opening the door, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Inside was a wall-mounted flat screen TV, some furniture that kind of looked like it belonged on a boat, a beer fridge, and a giant tray of hot dogs with all the fixin’s. The room was a bit tight but there were chips, popcorn, and all manner of beverages all around. Someone wanted to order wine and of course the obligatory introductions were made. I took a step outside at the seating area and marveled at the view. It really was great – you could see all of the other suites and the best view outside of behind home plate.

The TV had a long delay from the field action, which was understandable and it was beautiful outside. There’s very little yelling in the suite areas and definitely no chants of “Let’s go, Cubbies!” but I could see Cubs Hall of Famer Billy Williams two suites down. As the game progressed the Cubs shockingly took the lead over the Reds and Randy Wells had a no-no through five.

As Carlos Marmol stepped in to finish off the game, I pulled out my vuvuzela and began to make insane amounts of noise. The airhorn-like projection of the horn caused an executive from the suite next door to step out and marvel at it. I offered him a try, but he said I should so I played the vuvuzela again letting out a loud drone. Through the window I saw Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry and he was staring right at me! Instead of running back inside, I nodded and waved at him and he waved back. As Marmol finished off the game, Steve Goodman’s “Go, Cubs Go” rang throughout the stadium and Jim Hendry stepped out.

Seeing Jim Hendry, I blew the vuvuzela again and he asked me if I got it at the stadium. I hadn’t but then I asked if we could take a picture and he happily obliged. @TheAW1 declared me the biggest Cubs fan and that he had been a Cubs fan since Dawson.

“I’m sorry I’m not doing better,” Jim Hendry lamented.

I found his statement to be very humble and honest. He asked if we were going to be back tomorrow, but this was my first time ever in a company suite! Very cool to be rubbing elbows with the Cubs top brass and the company suite was probably the best seat I’ve ever had. Every Cubs fan should make their way to a luxury suite at least once just to take it all in, drink and eat limitlessly, and knock themselves out. It was a great time and wouldn’t have happened without the great benevolence of @TheAW!