The Ultimate Chicago Guide for Sports Fans

September 25, 2021
Food & Drink
jason wolfe
Yelp

When you think, "Chicago", you probably think about food. We do have a lock on great culinary treats, for sure. But we also have some of the most amazing sports teams and fan bases on the planet. No matter where you are in the country, you've heard of the Chicago Bears and Bulls.

You've most definitely heard of the Chicago Cubs and their historic ballpark. (Hey, it's not only the 2016 team that was amazing... Babe Ruth's famous called shot happened in Wrigley and there's a ton of fascinating Cubs history to see there). And of course, the Chicago White Sox because, in this city, you have to pick one or the other. You can't be a fan of both baseball teams.

Chicago has every type of team and event you can think of. There are plenty of well-known attractions and some that are amazing that you might not even know are there. If you have a sports fan in your life, treating them to one of these great experiences with a virtual GiftYa card would be a grand slam for any event.

Here's our ultimate list of Chicago for the consummate sports fan.

Wrigley Field

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Wrigley Field gets top billing on this list because it's one of the oldest baseball parks in the country and a stop for any true baseball fan. They've done a lot of remodeling in recent years but the park still keeps that magical vibe with the cobblestone and ivy. You can feel the history in the stadium, and even on the less comfortable bleacher seats, you'll have an amazing time at this ballpark.

There isn't a bad seat in the house and it's a fantastic place to catch a ballgame with a great fan base. Win or lose, this place is packed on game day. Fans can often talk with the players from the bleachers. New additions have added memorabilia for the fans to look at and Wrigley is well known for its celebrity sitings in the stands and singing the Seventh Inning Stretch. Make sure you practice singing "Go, Cubs, Go" because every fan is expected to join in on the games we win.

The neighborhood around Wrigley is also fantastic. You can find lots of great little Cubs bars and local restaurants and the vibe is always friendly here. You can wear White Sox gear here. Cubs fans won't care either way.

Soldier Field

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Soldier Field is the home of the Chicago Bears. This is an amazing stadium to watch a game at, but you better make sure you bundle up because it does get cold in the heart of football season. Bears vs Packers games are always a huge draw for obvious reasons. Whether you're a football fan or not, this is an event you'll definitely want to see at least once.

No matter what baseball team you root for, all of Chicago pulls for the Bears. Even when we hate them, we love them. A trip to a game is as much about donning the blue and orange and tailgating as it is about watching the action on the field. If you can't make a game, you can catch nearly the same excitement at any sports bar in town, which are all packed for the games.

Soldier Field became the home of the Chicago Bears in 1971, but it had a long history before that. The stadium was originally designed in 1919 as a memorial for American Soldiers who died in wars, thus the name. It was built to house city events and it certainly served that purpose. To this day they still hold large concerts at Soldier Field, not to mention the momentous Bears games we've seen through their history in the stadium.

Sox Park

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Okay, it's technically called Guaranteed Rate Field, but NO ONE calls it that here. Diehards still call it Comiskey. But everyone will accept Sox Park. The Chicago White Sox is the city's south side professional baseball team. They play in the American League and reside right in the working-class neighborhood of Bridgeport. The stadium is newer, so it's got some great amenities.

They host some good events during games, like Elvis Night, which is always a crowd-pleaser. The team the last few seasons has been exciting to watch and tickets are usually easier to come by than their northside counterparts.

You also have some awesome neighborhood bars and restaurants right nearby. Whether you want to head into Chinatown or stop at one of the restaurants in Bridgeport, there's plenty to eat, see and do in the neighborhood. Just don't wear any Cubs gear around here. The locals don't like it.

Beyer Stadium

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Wondering what in the heck Beyer Stadium is? Well, it's the home of the Rockford Peaches. That team from the movie A League of Their Own was in fact a real team, located in Rockford, Illinois. The movie version was based on the real team. Beyer Stadium was an All-American Girls Professional Baseball League stadium for the 12 years that the league was active.

This stadium is a great place to visit if you're a fan of the movie or a fan of Women's Baseball. You go to the Midway Village Museum and see the whole collection of Rockford Peaches memorabilia on display. Today, the field has been restored and is the home to the Rockford Starfires Women's Hardball Baseball League. This is a great tribute to the history of women in the game but it's also an amazing place for women athletes of every age. Come out and support the team!

Chicago Golf Club

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The Chicago Golf Club is a private club in Wheaton. It was one of five of the founding clubs of the United States Golf Association in 1898 and it has the distinction of being the oldest 18-hole golf course in the country. This is a historic golf course and one that professional golfers and aficionados alike love. It's also one of the most expensive and exclusive golf clubs in the country. You can find politicians and famous golfers here.

This course is notable for a few reasons. It was the first 18-hole golf course in the country, designed before other courses had officially decided on the number of holes a course should have. It was designed by CB MacDonald before he moved to NY to help organize the Links Club and the National Golf Links of America. It was also the first club to build a caddy shack.

United Center

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Home of both the Blackhawks and the Bulls. Up until 1994, both teams played at Chicago Stadium. United Airlines purchased the naming rights when the old stadium was demolished and the new stadium built near the original spot. Now they play at the United Center. It's a fantastic arena for both hockey and basketball and we have world-class teams for both.

You can find the famed Michael Jordan statue here. Along with plenty of Blackhawks and Bulls memorabilia.

The Mac

Put on by the Chicago Yacht Club, this is the longest-running freshwater boat race in the world. Sailers take their vessels all the way from Chicago to Mackinac Island in Michigan. The race began in 1898 and it's an anticipated event every year. More than 300 boats compete in the event and it take two to three days to complete the trip.

The Chicago Yacht Club is an old organization with a great history. They're one of the oldest yacht clubs in the world.

The Chicago Sports Museum

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The Chicago Sports Museum is an interactive museum. There are exhibits, Chicago sports memorabilia, and simulated experiences. It's one museum the sports lover in your family won't want to miss. Located at Water Tower Place, you can make a day of it downtown or just wander through the museum.

This museum gives you exhibits that let you test your skill against some of the greatest the games have ever known. You can measure where you stand against some of your favorite players. See memorabilia from some of the famous plays you've watched over and over. They also have exhibits about some of the extras, like the curses and superstitions that permeate ever sports franchise.

Allstate Arena - Chicago Wolves

The Chicago Wolves are a minor league hockey team that plays at the Allstate Arena. But there's nothing minor about them. They're affiliated with the Carolina Hurricanes, but Chicago hockey fans have embraced them. The team has won four championships. If you like hockey, you'll love watching a game here.

Rock Springs Ground Squirrels

Image Courtesy of the Macon County Conservation District

If you're a big sports history buff, this one will be a treat. The Rock Springs Ground Squirrels play in Decatur, but they don't play modern baseball. They play it the way it was begun back in the 1800s, complete with vintage uniforms and rules that include no bunting and no cussing.

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