Tailgating for a Chicago Bears home game at Soldier Field can be a little tricky because of restrictions on permitted tailgating parking lots. While there are a number of options to choose from, not all parking lots are the same. There are different price points and vehicle restrictions for each parking lot. It’s important to know which lots cater to different personalities before choosing which one to tailgate in for an upcoming game.
The South Lot and Waldron Deck parking lots are the best for family friendly tailgating. These lots have designated areas that allow tailgating through parking pass only. Many of the passes have been passed on from one generation to the next and have become family affairs. Because there is no availability of tailgating spaces for cash purchase on game day, there is more of a community feel.
The South Lot and Waldron Deck tailgating spaces are also geared towards the die-hard fans of the Chicago Bears. Since parking passes are required for parking, the demand for parking spaces definitely drives up the price. Die-hard fans can purchase parking passes online but for an exorbitant price. Shopwiki has single-day permits without an actual ticket for the game on sale for a couple hundred dollars and ebay has a listing for a Waldron Deck parking pass for the December 16 Bears vs. Packers game for a whopping $500. Any tailgater willing to pay $500 just to park a car, without any food or game ticket, is definitely a die-hard tailgating fan.
With the amount of testosterone and drinks involved in tailgating, there will inevitably be some wild encounters. The western corner of the Adler Planetarium Lot is definitely known for its wild nature. The area can fit around 100 people and costs $3,000 per game for a private tailgating party. The fee includes two parking spaces for passenger vehicles, two porta potties and access to the area for a full five hours prior to kickoff. Since things can get a little rowdy with so much time to eat, mingle and drink, the fee also includes two security guards.
The 31st Street Parking Lot is a lot that offers cash purchase on game day. Without needing any special parking pass, the 31st Street Parking Lot allows cars, RVs and even buses for Bears games. Although tailgaters are encouraged to arrive at least four hours prior to kickoff to ensure parking availability, the rates for vehicles are pretty reasonable. Also, a shuttle service is provided for all patrons parked in the 31st Street Parking Lot to get to and from Soldier Field.
Street parking is the least desirable form of tailgate parking for Bears games because of the limitations to availability. Chicago has strict zoning regulations on street parking, forbidding parking outside of Roosevelt Road to the north, Stevenson Expressway to the south, Lake Shore Drive to the east and Michigan Avenue to the west.
However, families with young kids prefer the Parkland areas for tailgating because there is a strict ban on alcohol and picnics are encouraged as long as they adhere to the regulations stipulated by the Chicago Park District. Families with young children bring along their Tailgate Toss or Chicago Bears Ladder Golf Gameand have a great time picnicking and playing games before heading into Soldier Field.
Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.
Sara Lugardo thrives in writing about 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.