Address: 1410 Museum Campus Dr, Chicago, IL 60605
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: Men in Red
Year Ground Opened: 1924
Home Kit: Navy and Red
Away Kit: White and Red
The first thing to note regarding Soldier Field is the fact it’s also home to NFL side the Chicago Bears. Given American football dominates the sporting landscape in the US, it’s hardly surprising to learn that Chicago Fire don’t get close to maxing out the 60,000 plus capacity. That doesn’t mean the stadium isn’t still awe-inspiring though.
The stadium, which has hosted numerous major international football matches, is located on the famed Lake Shore Drive with Lake Michigan and open green space dominating the surrounding area. Even before laying your eyes on the seats and field, there are a couple of key things to tick off from the exterior. First, you have the South Courtyard, which is seen as the ‘place to be’ pre-game with food and drink being served alongside what feels like endless seating and a nod to the fallen soldiers the stadium is named in honour of. The other part of Soldier Field you have to see is Colonnades; these have been part of the stadium since day dot way back in 1924 but, despite the modernised features inside, they’ve remained a huge part of the charm throughout the renovations. If you attend at night, they’ll be lit up for a nice photo opportunity too.
You can see if from a distance but once inside, you’ll really feel the contrast of the new Soldier Field compared with the old columns with the metal and glass stadium radically different from the preserved ‘remains’ of the original. Where seating is concerned the stadium, which is completely open to the elements with no roof, wraps around 360 degrees with everyone guaranteed crystal clear views.
The stadium is split across two and three-tiers depending on the stand in question. If you’re located behind either goal, the South Stand being where the more dedicated home support are, you’ll be in one of two-tiers. The side stands, which are curved in shape, are spread over three; the second severely overhangs the lower tier but the third tier follows a more natural incline from the middle-tier.
If you’re really looking for a top dog experience then you’ll be hard pressed to find a better option than the Skyline Suite. You’ll have views over the entire field of play, the city skyline – hence the name – and Lake Michigan.
When it comes to filling up on grub at Soldier Field there are few venues that can compete with the vast amount of options you have to choose from – that’s just from the countless concessions inside too. There is literally something for everyone. You’ve got non-meat options at Lightlife, nachos at Souvenir Corner, wings from Wings Baskets plus pretty much anything else you might fancy chowing down on. If you’re from out of town and want to try something with a Chicago twist then Lake Shore Drive Hoagie churn out highly rated ‘South Side sarnies’.
It’s not just food that is offered in abundance at Soldier Field either. If you’re into your beer then Heartland Hops have an extraordinary range of craft beers available whilst Miller’s operate a ‘Tour de Taps’, which is lagers offered from the back of a bicycle. Finally, if you’re after a more Instagram worthy beverage then why not try a cocktail from the appropriately named Chicago Cocktail Company.
If none of that tickles your fancy then you do have a few options away from the stadium. You will face a 10-minute or so walk to find most of them though. Michigan Avenue, which takes you away from the water’s edge has bars and eateries scattered all the way along it. If you like the idea of eating on the water then Del Campo’s will allow you to tuck into tacos on the beachfront. It’s just a 10 minute stroll back to Soldier Field.
The main thing to note for away supporters is that all of the aforementioned ‘must-sees’ are accessible to you as much as they are home fans. Chicago Fire take safety extremely seriously and pride themselves on the security systems they have in place, which intends to nip any trouble in the bud quickly so the true fans can enjoy their experience. So, the only missing information is in reference to the seating.
The visiting support are usually sat in the north west corner. As touched on, you’ll have no issues with restricted views. They simplydon’t exist in Soldier Field. You’ll also be located on the same side as the dugouts, which means you will see the occasional star name trot down to the corner flag to warm up; albeit you are closer to the home bench. The final note on the seating location is the fact that the dedicated home support section is some way away.
There are two main options for people attending Soldier Field. You can either drive or get the train. If you opt for the latter, the nearest station is Roosevelt on the ORG line. From here, you’ve got a 15 minute walk to the stadium, which is a very straight forward route. Simply follow Roosevelt Road towards Arvey Field park and, before you know it, you’ll arrive at the science museum and then, almost immediately, Soldier Field.
If you lean towards driving to the stadium then you can rest easy with respect of parking options. Even with over 60,000 in attendance you won’t have much problem finding a spot. North garage and Waldron garage sit immediately outside the ground with the latter located on the south side. The next two closest options are next to the science museum, which is north of the stadium and south lot; this is literally a few feet further away from Soldier Field than Waldron garage. If you find you’re still struggling to find a space then you can cross Burnham Harbour and park in the lot off Lynn White Drive. Even that is just an eight or so minute walk to the stadium.
Sometimes, a flying to the Windy City won’t just do. If you decide to combine your visit to Soldier Field with an overnight stay then you have a ridiculous amount of hotels to choose from. You probably want to prepare for an expensive night though! The nearest hotel to the ground is 4 star Marriott Marquis located near Prairie District Park. It’s a 15 minute walk to the stadium but at $425 a night, it’s not cheap.
Whilst the majority of hotels are pushing that sort of figure, some more budget friendly options to exist. Take the Chinatown Hotel located in, remarkably, Chinatown for example. It’s only a two star hotel but gives you somewhere to rest your head for around $100 and is still just over a mile from Soldier Field.
The below link will take you to the team website.
Schedule | Chicago Fire FC