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Chicago Sports and Teams
Chicago is a town of sports fans. The city has a handful of professional leagues that get fans riled up and rooting for the home team! There are also lots of community athletic clubs, so Chicago residents can participate in the fun as well. Whether you?re watching or playing, sports are an integral part of life in Chicago.
Many of Chicago's sports teams have won championships in their respective leagues. But the tables can turn from one year to the next, so you never know when a winning season will happen. Countless sports legends have called Chicago home over the years, including basketball phenom Michael Jordan.
During the baseball season the town is split in two. The South Side sides with the White Sox and the North Side cozies up with the Cubs. The Cubs represent the National League and play at Wrigley Field while the White Sox roll with the American League at U.S. Cellular Field. The NFL's Chicago Bears take to the gridiron at Solider Field and the basketball arena showcases the NBA's Chicago Bulls at their home, the United Center. For hockey you can watch the NHL Blackhawks, also at the United Center, or the minor-league Chicago Wolves, who play at Allstate Arena. There are also numerous college sports teams in the area, as well as horse racing and auto races in the suburbs.
The following is a list of the major sporting attractions in the city:
Chicago Bears - Chicago Professional Football Team
"Da Bears" are a hometown team with heart that Chicagoans support steadfastly through thick and thin. After an exciting run in the 2006-2007 season where the Bears ended up at the Super Bowl, football enthusiasts have had a taste of the glory and are pining for more. Once September rolls around, you can count on fans to religiously crowd into their respective game-watching spots every Sunday-be it a friend's living room, a sports bar or a seat in Soldier Field. The Chicago Bears are more than a professional sports team to this town. around here they're an institution that unites people from all walks of life for the love of the game.
No matter what the weather is like outside-and unfortunately during football season the temps tend to fall below freezing on many occasions-you'll see groups of Chicago Bears fans tailgating in the parking lots of Soldier Field before the game all decked in orange and navy. The scene overflows with raised spirits, good friends and high hopes for the home team. Whether the Bears have a loosing record, or are on track for winning the championship, this camaraderie is found in bars and homes throughout the city. And for a few hours out of the weekend, Bears fans hang on every yard gained and each referee call (in between sips of beer) as their team vies for the win.
The Chicago Bears are special because not only is the team a well-loved pro-football club, but the fans themselves have become a recognized icon, popularized by the reoccurring "Super Fans" skit on Saturday Night Live. What started in the early 1990s as a simple sketch has seeped into mainstream Americana as the epitome of Chicago sports spectators-Bears caps and jackets, aviator sunglasses, bushy mustaches, thick Chicago accents, a beer in hand and conversation of none other than "Da Bears." Of course, the true picture of Chicago Bears devotees cannot be typecast as supporters are from around the city, suburbs and beyond. But that solidarity remains and bonds Bears fans with a pride and loyalty that is celebrated each time those lovable players take to the field with coach Lovie Smith at the helm.
Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, 1410 S. Museum Campus Drive (312) 235-7000
Chicago Bulls - Chicago Professional basketball team.
No other Chicago sports team has had quite the worldwide recognition and far-reaching fan base that the Chicago Bulls has garnered in the course of their long history of basketball greats and NBA titles. Michael Jordan, probably the best-known contemporary of the sport, played for the Bulls a total of 14 years and helped them take home six championships. It was common for Jordan to lead the team in points scored and the six-foot, six-inch shooting guard became famous for his signature flying slam-dunk which later became the logo for the athlete’s line of Air Jordan basketball shoes. Jordan wasn’t the only shining star that caught the attention of fans, though, Scottie Pippen was also a legendary player who spent 12 seasons with the Chicago Bulls and got used to having his name in lights with an MVP and many All-Star awards by the time his #33 jersey was retired.
The days of Jordan and Pippen are over-a golden era followed by some rocky years where the Bulls didn't even make it to the post season-but this tough Chicago team has managed to work their way back into the forefront by building up a strong, versatile starting lineup that gives the rest of the NBA a force to be reckoned with. And, as always, Chicago maintains an extraordinary foundation of loyal supporters to root on the efforts of the newly redefined team. Assembling in local sports bars and gathering around the TV at home, Chicago basketball fans proudly don their caps and T-shirts emblazoned with the immortal red bull mascot, furrowing his brow and daring any opponent to approach the court.
Of course, many lucky fans get to see the action in person at the United Center where the Chicago Bulls play their home games. Located west of the downtown Chicago Loop, the three-level arena holds almost 22,000 spectators. The regular NBA basketball season runs from early October through mid April, so check out the current schedule and get tickets to experience the Bulls first-hand.
Chicago Bulls at the United Center, 1901 W. Madison Street (312) 455-4000
Chicago Cubs - Chicago Major League Baseball Team.
It's nearly impossible to mention the Chicago Cubs without an image of Wrigley Field coming to mind. As much a Chicago landmark as the Wrigley Building in downtown, the Cubs' iconic ballpark has resisted the age of modernity and high-tech jumbotron scoreboards to maintain a traditional charm and ageless appeal that has drawn Cubs fans to the north side for almost a century. With their stadium positioned in the aptly named neighborhood of Wrigleyville, the Cubs are one of Chicago's two major league teams (the White Sox being the other) that have managed to split the city's baseball fans in half. South siders have taken the Sox under their wing while the devotion of north side folks has never faltered from their Wrigley roots.
Even though the team hasn't won a World Series pennant since 1908, a long list of Baseball Hall of Famers have come out of the Chicago Cubs lineup in the past hundred years and the team still maintains one of the most loyal fan bases in Chicago sports. Whenever they win a home game the entire crowd joins in singing the ball club's catchy victory song Go Cubs Go. With such enthusiastic supporters and thousands of season ticket holders, actually going to the game can be tough. No worries though, just head over to one of the many designated Cubs bars near the stadium in Wrigleyville to watch the innings with fellow fans. The cheering in these pubs can seem as loud as if you were at Wrigley Field and the added bonus-beer prices are a lot cheaper!
The other option, if you've already tried to get Chicago Cubs tickets for inside the stadium to no avail, is to get seats outside the friendly confines in the unique rooftop bleachers that offer spectators a completely different Wrigley experience. Situated high up on the top of Wrigleyville townhouses, these seats provide just as good a view as the park's outfield stands. And guests still get the hotdogs and beverages that go hand-in-hand with baseball because the lofty patios are equipped with large grills and stocked bars, so you won' t even have to fight the hordes at the concessions.
Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, 1060 W. Addison Street (773) 404-CUBS
Chicago White Sox - Chicago Major League Baseball Team
In Chicago, there are two ways your baseball loyalties can go: north or south. For the most part Cubs fans reside on the north side and Sox fans live in the southern stretches of the city. This divide makes for a heated rivalry between Chicagoans when it comes to their preferred ball club-a rivalry that culminates every year at the Crosstown Classic where the Chicago White Sox play the Chicago Cubs. You can bet emotions run high on that faithful day as the two teams duke it out (for honor more than anything) and fans take every heckle and cheer personally-oftentimes making the event the wildest and rowdiest of the entire season. A word from the wise: there's an elevated chance of being dowsed with beer (or other beverages) during this series, so don't be surprised when the "showers" start.
When they are in town, the White Sox play at U.S. Cellular Field, situated in the Bridgeport neighborhood on Chicago's south side (of course). The 40,000-plus capacity stadium is the Sox's home turf, providing a state-of-the-art venue for fans to watch their favorite Chicago baseball team in action. Because of the park's vertical grandstand design, every seat offers a good view of the game, and any time a White Sox player hits a home run be ready for fireworks and giant twirling sparklers that light up the field like Fourth of July! (Chicago White Sox fans take our national pastime very seriously-when there's something to celebrate, they don't waste any time.)
Although White Sox tickets are typically easier to get than seats for their north side counterpart, White Sox games still regularly sell out and the ball club is often a contender for a spot in the playoffs. The season schedule ordinarily offers six-game stints at home before heading out of town again, so south side Chicago baseball fans have plenty of opportunities to get out to the ballpark for major league talent, souvenir Sox gear, grilled hotdogs, peanuts and crackerjacks, ice cold beer-all the classics.
Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, 333 W. 35th Street (312) 674-1000
Chicago Blackhawks - Chicago Professional Hockey Team
During the winter months NHL fans turn their attention to the ice to root for the city's pro hockey team-the Chicago Blackhawks. Perhaps the underdogs of Chicago sports, the Blackhawks have faced some disappointing seasons in recent years with losing records and not even a shot at making it to the playoffs. New changes to the lineup and the coaching staff may give this team the boost it needs to shake the slump, but only time will tell if these determined hockey players will get a taste of glory this year.
Despite any hard times, Chicago Blackhawk fans hang in there-showing a sizeable and enthusiastic turnout for home games, which are held at the United Center (where the Chicago Bulls also play). The seats are far from selling out, but that doesn't mean there's a lack of cheering from the stands. Dedicated supporters of all ages surround the ice rink, wearing Blackhawks jerseys and caps, and shouting at the top of their lungs for the players to score. Behind the scenes, fans hope for a season that will turn things around for the Chicago Blackhawks as they dream of the day when the Stanley Cup will once again be in their possession. But whether that time is now or ten years from now, this is one die-hard Chicago sports team that will continue to fight the good fight. Check out the schedule online and purchase single game, partial or full season ticket plans to show the Blackhawks your support.
Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center, 1901 W. Madison Street (312) 455-7000
Chicago Wolves - Chicago Professional Hockey Team
Chicago Wolves at the Allstate Arena, (312) -559-1212
Chicago Fire - Chicago Professional Soccer Team
Chicago Fire at Toyota Park.
Balmoral Park - 773-568-5700
Hawthorne Race Course - 708-780-3700