Tailgating at Soldier Field, with the Chicago skyline in the background, is an absolutely incredible experience. It is so beautiful. Especially if you get to catch a game in the fall. There’s a chance I may be biased given I’m from Chicago, but oh well. If you are new to tailgating at Soldier Field, or you’re traveling in to support your team, be sure to read along for everything you’ll need to know about Chicago Bears Tailgating.
Quick note – our team is now supporting clients at Soldier Field – woo woo! We do have rather limited capacity at this location, so be sure to reach out as early as possible to reserve your tailgate package. For more information on our services at Soldier Field, check out our website: https://tailgaterconcierge.com/bears/
Getting to Soldier Field
Soldier Field’s address is 1410 S. Museum Campus Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605. It’s located near the Chicago downtown area. Given that, you have a few options when it comes to getting to the stadium:
- Drive & Park – see the next section for more information. Note: if you’re interested in tailgating yourself, this is the route you must go. There is little to no ‘open-space’ available to tailgate around the stadium. And who wants to take the metro with a pop-up tent? (
- CTA – the stadium is easily accessible via the Red, Green, and Orange lines at the Roosevelt Station (3/4 mile walk to stadium entrance)
- CTA bus route #146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express also provides a connection from Roosevelt Station to the stadium entrance on McFetridge Drive
- Ride-share (i.e. Uber/Lyft) – there is a set pick-up and drop-off location at the stadium that makes this process easy for fans to come and go. Do note, that for big games, there is sometimes a bit of a delay calling a vehicle after the game.
Parking Options & Guidelines
To purchase parking passes through the bears directly, visit SoliderFieldParking.com. You can buy season passes, along with single-game parking spots.
If you’re unable to purchase a parking pass through the Bears, check out this site for parking options in the nearby neighborhood: https://stadiumparkingguides.com/soldier-field-parking/. There’s lots of information on pricing/distance to the stadium, etc.!
Make sure you’re aware of the following rules:
- Cars: must be parked in marked stalls. Patrons cannot buy or save parking spaces for tailgating or late arriving patrons. Backing into parking stalls is not permitted.
- Cash: Cash is accepted on a limited basis at the Alder Planetarium and Burnham Harbor. Cash prices are subject to change without notice.
- Tailgating: is allowed on all surface lots and the upper level of the Waldron Deck. Party set-ups and grills that exceed the one designated parking space will either be relocated within the designated area or closed-down. Fire pits/open fires are NOT ALLOWED IN ANY LOTS.
- We just picked out a few we thought were most important, but for a full list of the rules/regulations of parking at Soldier Field, check out the official rules and guidelines.
Tailgating at Chicago Bears Games
Like the Chicago Bears themselves, tailgaters should have a game plan before heading to Soldier Field for game day. Between the tailgate & game, tailgaters will clock 8+ hours outside in the elements, and on a cold Chicago fall/winter day, that can be tough. You need to stay very warm, and well-fed, so a solid plan is a must when heading to a Chicago Bears football game.
Here’s a check-list of all the things you want to remember for your Chicago Bears tailgate:
- LAYERS – so.many.layers! This will be essential to bear the elements of a Chicago winter
- Don’t forget your parking pass(es) and game ticket(s) – that would be a bummer
- Bring all the essential FOOD. If you’re planning to grill, we always suggest bringing snacks to have available from the start of the tailgate. Like chips and dips, fruit bowls, wings are always a favorite, etc. Be sure to not miss dessert!
- Pro tip – bring EXTRAS! For starters, people always end up eating more than planned. It’s also great to have leftovers for the post-gating when you’re hopefully celebrating your team’s victory!
- Be sure to bring all needed plates, napkins, cutlery, a lighter, knives, scissors, foil for leftovers… Tupperware is also very nice to have!
- RED CUPS (and some ping pong balls if you’re into drinking games)
- For a more detailed list of commonly forgotten items: check out our Check-List Blog!
- If you’re in need of some recipe inspiration, our Superbowl Party Recipes blog has a few great ones.
If you’re looking for a fun pre-game experience, but not interested in being outside, there are also quite a few bars and restaurants in the surrounding neighborhood that you can hang at, and then hop over to the stadium for kick-off! Here’s a great list – Top 7 Bars to Pregame Near Soldier Field.
Soldier Field Guidelines
The hard facts of tailgating:
- Tailgating is allowed on all surface lots in the Museum Campus, on the upper level of the Waldron deck, and on the 31st Street McCormick Place Lot B.
- Tailgating is allowed four hours before the game and two hours after the game. They do not open up the parking lots until that 4-hour mark, if you want to maximize your time, we suggest you arrive closer to 5 hours ahead of time to ensure you get into the lots quickly.
- You must purchase parking tickets to park in the tailgating lots, and you must have a ticket to the game to park in a tailgate lot.
- Pop-up tents are NOT allowed. This is a unique one! Given how tight some of the lots are, they make it to difficult for people to get in and out and can cause a safety hazard. Something to keep in mind when there is weather.
- Tailgaters are limited to one single parking space per vehicle.
- Tailgating is prohibited during the game.
- Alcohol is allowed, but only within the confines of the parking lot.
- A new NFL-wide rule prohibits fans from bringing bags into the stadium, so plan accordingly.
- Click here to view a full list of rules and regulations.
Chicago Bears Gear
Given we had to take last season off, your tailgate gear is probably a bit dusty, and likely worn out. If you’re in need of some refreshes on your equipment, here’s some great Bears gear we found!
Although we hopefully won’t be needing these this fall (even though they definitely help with that wind chill) – this is a great buy to start repping your team between now and the home opener! Here’s the link.
For the griller in your family, this 3-Piece BBQ Stainless Steel set is awesome, and if you’re reading this sometime in March 2021, they’re on sale!
Given you can’t pop up your Chicago bears tent on game day, the next best way to rep the team is through Tailgate Chairs. Our favorite are the Logo Brand chairs – we find them to be the most durable and last us season after season.
Tailgater Concierge Service
If you’re traveling in from out of town or have a large group and don’t want to deal with the hassles of tailgating, our team can help you out! We have reserved space in the Adler Planetarium lots – and access to parking spaces nearby if you or folks in your party are interested in driving. The team will handle all of the set-up, take-down, and clean-up of your tailgate equipment, and help coordinate all your catering and beverage needs. All you have to do is show up and have fun. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our Bears Page, or send us an email to [email protected].
What not to miss in Chicago!
Chicago is a city that has something for literally EVERYONE. Check out the below blog posts for inspiration to plan out your weekend:
- Top things to do in Chicago – https://www.thecrazytourist.com/top-25-things-to-do-in-chicago-il/
- Concerts at Tinley Park – http://www.tinleyparkamphitheater.com/concerts/
- Free concerts in Grant Park – http://www.grantparkmusicfestival.com/the-music/events-calendar
- Top restaurants in Chicago – https://www.thrillist.com/eat/chicago/best-restaurants-chicago
- Catch another sporting event:
Pro tip – if you’re not a big fan of the cold, we’d suggest going to a game EARLY in the season. September and October are great weather months that have that nip of fall in the air.
If you have any additional questions regarding tailgating at a Chicago Bears game, feel free to reach out to the team at Tailgater Concierge! You can reach us via [email protected] or give us a call at 888-301-2190.
Please note: Tailgater Concierge is a participant in the Amazon and Fanatics Affiliate Programs and may receive commissions. Tailgater Concierge only recommends products that would be valuable for our tailgating readership!