CHICAGO (CBS) — Thousands of Blackhawks fans will be lining the streets to cheer for their hockey heroes on Thursday, and some just couldn’t wait to get a front row seat for the Stanley Cup victory parade.
Many fans were in place along the parade route before sunrise. Some even boarded trains to downtown Chicago late Wednesday night.
Players, coaches, staff and family will board double decker buses at the United Center and then head to the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Racine Avenue, where the parade will begin at 10 a.m.
From there, the parade will head east on Washington to DesPlaines Street, turn south to Monroe Street and continue east to Michigan Avenue, where the parade will end.
After that, the Blackhawks will head to Soldier Field for their official victory rally.
Those who work or live on Monroe Street or who are staying at hotels along the parade route have a sure advantage, able to watch from above the parade without having to fight the crowds for a good view.
If you plan to stand outside and want to find the best spots to watch, sidewalks are wider west of Franklin Street. There are also a couple plazas that offer extra viewing space near the Chicago River. Fans also should avoid a construction zone on the North side of Monroe between LaSalle and Clark streets.
Officials reminded fans no drinking is allowed along the parade route. Police will have a zero-tolerance policy on alcohol.
Public transportation is the best bet for getting to the parade. Both the CTA and Metra were providing extra service all day, and Metra was offering unlimited ride tickets for $5 to help fans get to and from the parade and rally.
Remember, if you want to get into the rally, you’d better have a ticket. They sold out fast on Ticketmaster, so if you don’t have one, you’re out of luck, unless you want to take your chances buying them from scalpers selling tickets on Craigslist or eBay.