Here’s What Every Sports Fan Should Visit in Chicago
A sprawling sports hub, Chicago is full of memorable, historical venues you should make sure to see on your next visit.
There’s no shortage of sports in Chicago, a city where all major pro sports leagues are represented. So, it’s unsurprising that this city houses many famous stadiums and championship-winning teams that are still leaving their mark on U.S. and worldwide sports history.
True fans will undoubtedly rush to see the legendary venues. And even if you don’t count as one, the lively atmosphere and the colorful history tied to those locations are bound to spark your interest.
Here are some of the essential sports locations in Chicago you should visit the next time you’re in town.
1. Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field is the second-oldest baseball stadium in the U.S. and more popularly known as home to the famous Chicago Cubs.
The ballpark was built in 1914 and the Cubs moved in two years later. The club remained at the same address to this day, winning the World Series precisely a century after coming to Wrigley Field.
Whether you’re heading there for a tour of the renovated stadium or to see a game, you should check out the area around the ballpark that’s known as Wrigleyville. The numerous sports bars are the main attraction there, but you shouldn’t miss the Gallagher Way, an entertainment center right in the stadium’s backyard.
2. Guaranteed Rate Field
When it comes to baseball World Series winners, Chicago has another legendary stadium and team to boast about – the Chicago White Sox. This team has called Guaranteed Rate Field home since its opening in 1991.
Located in the Bridgeport neighborhood, the stadium is surrounded by excellent eateries, bars, and music venues, so you can easily get in the right mood before catching a game.
3. United Center
United Center houses two wildly successful teams, one competing in hockey, the other in basketball, and both winning their respective championships six times. You don’t even need to be an avid sports fan to know exactly who we’re talking about – it’s the Chicago Blackhawks and the Chicago Bulls.
Outside the stadium is where you’ll see the statues of legendary Blackhawks players Hull and Mitka, while a figure of the basketball superstar Michael Jordan awaits inside.
Before or after a game, you can explore the Near West Side area around United Center and grab a bite to eat or try out a craft beer from one of the numerous venues.
4. Wintrust Arena
When it comes to amazing basketball teams, you shouldn’t miss seeing the Chicago Sky at their home in the Wintrust Arena. After all, the team went to the WNBA playoffs for four consecutive years, playing in the finals in 2014 and returning to the playoffs in 2019. The Chicago Sky continues to enrich the scene and present an outstanding contribution to sports in Chicago today.
The Wintrust Arena features 10,000 seats and, besides sports, serves as a convention and concert venue. It’s located at McCormick square that is known as a prominent tourist destination, which is one more reason to visit the stadium.
5. Soldier Field
Initially named the Municipal Grant Park Stadium, the renowned Soldier Field opened in 1924. The football and soccer stadium has housed various sports teams since then. However, none is more popular and beloved than the Chicago Bears – the nine-time NFL champions and winners of the 1985 Super Bowl.
Another team of champions moved into Soldier field as recently as 2020 is the Chicago Fire of the MLS. Although soccer isn’t as prominent in the U.S. as in the rest of the world, the Chicago Fire has attracted many fans with the amazing results they achieved. The team has won several U.S. Open Cups, with the first win occurring in its first season in 1998.
6. The Chicago Sports Museum
If you want to learn all about sports in Chicago in one location, there’s no better place than the Chicago Sports Museum. The museum’s abundant with interactive experiences, exhibits that will get you immersed in the rich sports lore, and various items used and other memorabilia representing the numerous historical games played in the city.
You can dive into the legends surrounding Chicago sports’ famous events and persons from an investigative point in the Forensic Sports exhibit.
And if you’d like to see how you compare to some of the greats, there’s the Measure Up exhibit where you can test your throwing skills, leap height and length, grip strength, and more. Bear in mind that you’ll be competing against the likes of Pippen, Jordan, and other giants of various sports.
7. North Avenue Beach
During summer, those visiting Chicago will find its North Avenue Beach a haven for all kinds of sports and recreation. If you’re with friends or family, make sure to rent a net and try out your skills at beach volleyball. On the other hand, should you find the waters of Lake Michigan more enticing, feel free to jump on the jet skis or in a kayak.
The 18 miles long trail following the lakefront is perfect if you want to take your bike or rollerblades for a ride, as well as for jogging.
Once you’ve had your fill of fun in the sun, you can follow the North Michigan Avenue a short way to the south, across the historic DuSable Bridge, and get to the gorgeous Millennium and Maggie Daley Parks. At Maggie Daley Park, you can enjoy rock climbing, while Millennium Park is home to the famous summer workouts.
Explore the Amazing History of Sports in Chicago
No season in Chicago passes without pro sports in the air. So you can be sure that, whenever you come, there will be a game on.
But besides the games, you’ll enjoy the rich culture and history of the teams and the venues that had a massive contribution to every major sport played in the U.S.