O-Issue 2011: Chicago sports

By Mahmoud Bahrani

One of my favorite parties of the year is Psi U’s “Rep(resent) your city” party. Walking around the frat’s house and seeing a rainbow of jerseys from all over the country is always interesting, because as a native Chicagoan, I sometimes forget that people are allowed to like teams that don’t play their home games in the Windy City. However, no matter where your allegiances lie, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make it out to Chicago sporting events, even if you are rooting against the home team.

Chicago is a major sports market, and has teams in all of the major professional leagues, and luckily most of the teams are pretty good. The Bulls feature Derrick Rose, who last year was named the NBA’s most valuable player. Rose grew up in Englewood, which is only a few miles from campus, and used to practice at our Ratner Athletic Center. The Bears made it to the NFC title game last year, falling to the eventual Superbowl Champions, the Green Bay Packers. Chicago has two baseball teams, the White Sox and the Cubs, and no, you can’t root for both.

Seeing all these teams can be pricey, though. Bears tickets are some of the most expensive in the NFL, and will cost you somewhere around 80 dollars once all is said and done. Same holds true for the Bulls. A seat in the 300 level at the United Center, also known as the, ‘Hey!  I can see my house from here!’ section, can set you back forty dollars. Baseball tickets aren’t nearly as bad – there are 81 home games after all – and you can usually get into the ballpark for a meager 10 dollars. The Cubs are out of the division race, so expect those prices to stay low, but if the White Sox continue to challenge for the top spot, those prices might start creeping up as October rolls around.

If paying these high prices isn’t exactly your thing, don’t worry. Almost all of the houses at the U of C take house trips to games, with significantly subsidized ticket prices and group rates. If you keep your eyes out, you can also find cheaper tickets being offered by the teams themselves. For example, the Bulls have a ‘Family Fun’ night, where you can get a 300 level ticket, a hot dog, chips, and a drink, all for $25.

Once you’ve got your ticket, getting to all the different stadiums is actually pretty easy.  Both Wrigley Field and Comiski – now officiallly U.S Cellular Field – are close to CTA red line stops. Soldier Field is close to the 18th street stop on the Metra Electric District, and even the Madhouse on Madison, the United Center, has several bus routes that stop right at the front door.

There are plenty of local spots to watch sporting events if you don’t want to travel. Seven-ten, on 55th street, is always showing different local sporting events. The Pub in the basement of Ida Noyes is also a good place to catch a game, but you have to be 21 to enter. Sometimes the best place to watch a sporting event is just in your house lounge, but be sure to reserve the TV beforehand. There’s nothing worse than walking into your house lounge to catch the Bulls game, only to find that the Bachelorette season finale is showing at the same time.