For many people, going to Wrigley Field for a Cubs game is a bucket list item. It’s one of the most historical baseball stadiums and has so many cool features.
If you’re anything like us, you might have a hard time deciding between which seats to get for the game. In our case, we don’t live near Chicago, so we knew we might only get one shot at visiting the stadium. We wanted to be sure we got the right seats. We also wanted to stick within a budget of about $100 per seat.
For the purpose of this review, we got two sets of seats.
One was for the bleachers. We knew that no matter what, we wanted to try out the bleachers.
One reason is that sitting in the Wrigley Field bleachers is a unique experience unlike anything else in the world. The camaraderie and fan experience are incredible.
But another reason is that anyone who has bleacher tickets can access the entire stadium, whereas people who don’t have bleachers tickets cannot access the bleachers section of the ballpark (which includes some popular vendors). An example of a vendor you can’t access except in the Bleachers section is Hot Doug’s:
So we bought bleacher tickets. It was a tough decision picking the other tickets to get.
When I think of old baseball stadiums, I often think of large overhangs and sitting under the overhang. There are probably examples from the era of Babe Ruth that got embedded in my mind. Here’s a picture from Wrigley that shows what I was envisioning:
I wanted to be in the seats that are in the lower deck under the overhang to get as much of that old-school stadium feeling as possible.
You have to be careful, though, not to get seats that have a pillar obstructing your view!
We ended up going with Section 222. There are no pillars obstructing the views in that section.
I took a while to pick the exact row I wanted. I ended up going with Row 15 because I wanted to be sure I was under the overhang and out of the sun, and also because those were all that were available in our budget at our time.
Here’s how the view was from our seats in Section 222 Row 15:
If I were to get tickets again, I would probably get Row 5 or so. This was just a little bit too far back for my taste and made me feel like I was pretty removed from the action.
Now when you compare that to our bleacher seats, the bleachers may have been removed from the diamond itself, but they were close to the field:
The bleachers don’t have assigned seating. We got there early to get good seats. We were in the fourth row of the bleachers.
So that is a comparison of the view from the bleachers vs. Section 222. The general atmosphere of each section is also worth comparing.
The bleachers offered a memorable experience in that respect. It was like the people you sit next too are old pals who go way back. We were treated like brothers out there.
There were also insults hurled around, but it was also in a brotherly sort of way. You might have to have a bit of thick skin, but if you come into it with a playful heart, then you might have a load of fun either way.
The atmosphere in the bleachers was loud, boisterous, and there were lots of laughs. Also, the players on the field acknowledge us a ton before the game and in between innings. The players seemed to have a lot of respect for us and were playful.
The unassigned seating proved interesting at times. At a time when the seats seemed pretty well filled up, we saw one group of friends come up and find “single” seat availability scattered around, and they each filled those seats separately. They broke up their group to get better seats, yet with the type of camaraderie that existed in the bleachers, it was like you knew you’d still be sitting with friends even when sitting next to strangers.
The bleachers experience was noticeably different from the experience in Section 222. Over there, it was much quieter. People weren’t talking to each other. They were keeping to themselves. And the cheering wasn’t as loud.
For me and my taste, that wasn’t ideal. I can see, though, how for someone with a family, that might be preferred over being out in the bleachers where you can’t even necessarily control being able to sit together without getting to the game early.
Aside from comparing those two specific sections, here are other things we loved about Wrigley in general.
1) The ivy! Here’s an up close picture we took of the ivy in left field:
2) The funny contours of the outfield. Imagine chasing a ball down in this part of the outfield:
3) The rooftops! It was really fun walking around between the stadium and the rooftops, and also seeing the rooftops from different angles. Here are some nice shots of how it looked:
And here’s a view of the whole panorama from the top of the stadium:
Overall, Wrigley was a great experience. It didn’t seem as “old-timey” as I expected, but it was still loads of fun.
I treated the experience like it might be my only time there, but I sure hope I get to go again. And if I do, you’ll find me in the bleachers!