Tailgating is a time-honored Chicago tradition, but to make the most out of the game-day experience, it’s crucial to be prepared and knowledgeable about the rules and regulations of the parking structure surrounding the game. There are a few rules in terms of parking and tailgating locations that must be adhered to in order to participate in tailgating for a Chicago Bears home game at Soldier Field.

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Guaranteed Parking Lots

Tailgating spots with guaranteed parking can be found in the South Lot or Waldron Deck. Both the surface lots and the upper level of the Waldron Deck have designated areas that allow tailgating, but parking passes are required. For those who do not already own a parking pass, it’s possible to purchase one through ebay, shopwiki or even craigslist. However, the markup on these online parking-pass purchases can be staggering. Parking lots open four hours prior to kickoff and close two hours after the end of the game.

Cash Parking Lots

There are four parking lots that are available for cash purchase; Field Museum, Adler Planetarium Lot, Burnham Harbor and 31st Street Parking Lot. The East Museum Lot is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Burnham Harbor Lot is available for cash purchase on game days in November but rates and availability are subject to change based on event dates. Generally, the fee to park a car is around $35 and RV’s and buses are $75. A shuttle service is provided for the 31st Street Parking Lot. Patrons parking in the Adler Planetarium Lot with buses, campers or recreational vehicles pay $120 for Bears games. However, because of the popularity of these parking lots for tailgaters and other game-day watchers, it’s recommended to arrive four to five hours prior to kickoff to ensure availability.

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Private Tailgate Parking

The western corner of the Adler Planetarium Lot offers availability for a private tailgating experience. The area can accommodate around 100 people and costs $3,000 per game. The fee includes two security guards, two parking spots for passenger vehicles, two porta potties and access to the area five hours prior to kickoff for setup and enjoyment. Click here for additional information or contact Luca Serra at (312) 235-7149.

Street Parking

Street parking is available in the neighboring areas around Soldier Field and is managed by Standard Parking. The area bordered in by Roosevelt Road on the north, Stevenson Expressway on the south, Lake Shore Drive on the east and Michigan Avenue on the west is residential and subject to ticketing or towing so it’s imperative to be cognoscente of zoning restrictions. Although alcohol is not permitted on the parklands, picnics are encouraged as long as patrons adhere to the rules and regulations stipulated by the Chicago Park District.

For more information regarding parking availabilities for tailgating around Soldier Field, call the Standard Parking Customer Service Hotline at (312) 583-9153 or visit soldierfieldparking.com.

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Sara Lugardo is a Korean American who thrives in writing about Asian community news in Chicago. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her Master’s. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.