CHICAGO (CBS) — Blackhawks fans clearly didn’t mind getting a bit wet Thursday morning, for a chance to see the Stanley Cup champions parade through downtown Chicago, ahead of a victory rally at Soldier Field.
Some fans headed downtown Wednesday night, dressed in their favorite team sweaters, caps, and t-shirts, so they could be first in line outside Soldier Field, or along the parade route along Washington and Monroe streets on Thursday morning.
Fans also packed Metra and CTA trains to capacity early Thursday, wanting to get a great spot to watch the celebration.
Those who did line up early had to break out the umbrellas, or find shelter under awnings, or inside parking garages, as a brief but heavy downpour rolled through downtown starting around 8:20 a.m.
Skies cleared by about 9 a.m., though scattered showers were still a possibility throughout the day and afternoon.
Officials opened the gates at Soldier Field at 8 a.m., so fans could get to their seats for the rally, which was expected to start around 11 a.m. To avoid getting soaked, most fans stood on the concourses at the stadium, or waited in the tunnels outside until the storm passed.
The rain certainly didn’t dampen the spirits of the fans or the Blackhawks.
Owner Rocky Wirtz said, even after three Stanley Cups in six years, it never gets old celebrating a championship with the city.
“It’s an exciting day today,” Wirtz said. “Why not try to do four? We’re at three now, let’s do four.”
Many fans chose the corner of Jefferson and Monroe streets or Jefferson and Washington streets, where the team’s buses will make their two turns along the parade route, hoping for a longer look at their favorite team.
Hockey might be an indoor sport, at least most of the time, but Blackhawks fans certainly aren’t strangers to inclement weather when watching their team. In 2014, when the Blackhawks routed the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Winter Classic at Soldier Field, they played through swirling snow and frigid temperatures throughout the game, so a little rain on Thursday will be no big deal.