It’s getting to be that time of year when you can start booking your trips to Wrigley Field. It’s no secret, you will probably spend a pretty penny to go watch a sub-par team again this year, so I want to help you make sure that when you go, you have an idea of where the “best seats in the house” are. I just ordered my tickets for Opening Day at Wrigley Field. We will be 8 rows up from the field right behind the visitor’s on deck circle!
(Yep, this is a view from our section for Opening Day this year. I’m pumped!) I ordered my tickets early off one of the ticket broker sites because I want to make sure I get the Perfect Ticket for Opening Day. Sure, I know I will pay a bit more by doing it this way rather than waiting for the tickets to go on sale at cubs.com in March, but I also know I get the seats I really want.
I realized that not many people know how to “pick your seats” at Wrigley to make sure you get the best experience while you are there. In my many years of going to Wrigley, I have lived and learned when it comes to finding the best seat in the house.
I have had this view:
And this view:
And unfortunately, even this view… my legs had to straddle the pole… ticket said “Obstructed view”, so they didn’t lie!
So, from someone who has seen home plate from just about every area at Wrigley, from the rooftops to the pitcher’s mount on Opening Day in 2011, I think I can help you get seating that suits your needs.
So, where to sit?
We’ll start with The Bleachers. When you get Bleacher seats, you have a general admission ticket with a completely separate entrance to get into the park. (Gate N at the corner of Sheffield and Waveland). You will not have access to the other parts of the concourse at Wrigley. Since it is General admission, the seating location listed on the ticket is irrelevant. It’s just first come first serve. Get to Wrigley early and get in line if you want to be able to pick seats you really want. The Bleachers are more an experience in itself. It’s not exactly “kid friendly” for those who take your children to the ballpark. Some people are very cautious if they see a child in their “ear shot”, however, you also have the ones who say “F**k it. They shouldn’t have their kid out here in the bleachers anyway“! It is more of a party atmosphere out there. Don’t get me wrong, there are some people out there in the bleachers who are out there to watch the game, but there are a lot who are out there to drink the beer and have a good time. That being said, I suggest you take in a game in the bleachers at least ONCE in your lifetime.
Now to the grandstands:
If you start in the left field foul pole, you have section 101 and each section will be numbered throughout the park with section 121 behind home plate and section 143 at the right field foul pole. If you move up under the upper deck overhang, the numbers will be labled 201-243. Upper deck, lower level is the 400 section. Upper deck under the roof is the 500 section.
An aisle, for the most part, splits the section into two sections. Seats that are on the right side of the aisle begin with the number 1, and seats that start on the left side of the aisle begin with 101. If you have a ticket and it says you are in seat 15 or 115, for example, you can pretty much guarantee that you are smack dab in the middle of the row! Not exactly a great place if you have kids that need to visit the bathroom on a frequent basis. Not that the end of the rows are ideal, because if you are on the end of the row , you are constantly having your views blocked by vendors who are stopping to serve your fellow row-mates their refreshments of choice. You will also be getting a LOT of exercise as you will be constantly standing up to let people in and out of the row. Pick your poison, I guess.
The rows are numbered from the bottom up, with row 1 being closest to the field. (With the exception of Dugout and Bullpen Box seats, which start with Row A)
Dugout & Bullpen Box: This level is comprised of the three rows nearest the infield, labeled A, B and C. Pro: You are right next to the action. Cons: You have NO protection from any weather. (but if you have seats there, you’d better hope you don’t have to deal with any weather but bright, warm and sunny! )
(Pretty sweet seats, huh?)
Club Box (Sect. 4-38 ): On the infield, this level is directly behind the Dugout and Bullpen Box level. On the outfield, this level provides the closest seats down the first and third base lines. It is not covered by the upper deck. Pros: Excellent seats. No Poles. Cons: Again, no protection from the weather elements (wind, rain, sun, snow)
Field Box (Sect. 101-142): This level is separated from the Club Box level by a pedestrian walkway. This walkway leads to the concourses, which host the concession stands and bathrooms. If you are in the lower rows (roughly 1-5) of these sections, you may have to contend with frequent foot traffic crossing in front of you
Terrace Box & Reserved (Sect. 201-242): This level is separated from the Field Box level by a second pedestrian walkway. The first row is slightly elevated, however, so foot traffic is not an issue. This level is covered by the awning of the upper deck (except portions of 202-204, 237-240, and all of sections 201 and 242).
Pictures from various sections and rows in this section can be found here.
This is one taken from Row 6 in section 216:
Rows 1-7 are considered Box, and rows 8+ are considered Reserved (all rows are considered Reserved in 201-204 and 237-242). The columns supporting the upper deck are usually found in row 6, and are often located on the aisles. Thus, purchasing seats in row 7 or higher will pretty much guarantee yourself a view of a steel beam somewhere in your vision. If you must get higher than Row 6, that is when you need to look for seats toward the middle of the row (high seat numbers like 15 or 115) in sections 219-231. Avoid aisle seats (like 1, 2, 101 and 102) in these sections. Nice views from the outfield can be found in sections 201 and 242. Notice of obstructed views will be printed on the tickets for some of the worst seats.
(Again, I HIGHLY suggest that if you are purchasing these seats, which are usually fairly priced, DO NOT GET SEATS HIGHER THAN ROW 6! You WILL have a pole blocking something in your view if you go higher than row 6).
I will also mention that you may have other obstructions from rows 16 and higher (19 and higher in the sections behind home plate) as your views will suffer from the upper deck overhang. You will probably not be able to see much of the scoreboard, or any balls that go high in the air may not be able to be followed . But no worries, you will be able to watch the replays on the tv’s and little scoreboards that are hung from the rafters in those levels. One good thing, about these sections is that if the weather is inclement, you will have protection over your head.
Upper Deck Box (Sect. 403-438 ): This is the first level of the upper deck. Due to the overhanging design, the first row of this level is directly above the first row of the Terrace level. Sections 419-422 are directly below the Press Box. Seats in this level are covered by an awning, but views are not obstructed. These are fairly good seats, but walking up the ramps, especially with a hand full of nachos, soda, hotdogs, etc. can be a challenge!
Upper Deck Reserved (Sect. 503-538 ): This level is separated from the Upper Deck Box level by a pedestrian walkway. Foot traffic shouldn’t be an issue, however a second set of columns does appear along the walkway. These columns are actually a continuation of those on the lower deck. They are aligned with the aisles (except one column in sections 527 and 528 ) and are just in front of the first row. If you choose to sit in this level, look for seats in the lower rows, toward the middle of the row (high seat numbers like 15 and 115) in sections 509-525 and 529-532. Note that the area directly behind home plate is taken up by the Press Box, so there are no Upper Deck Reserved seats behind the plate. This level is covered by an awning as well, but because of the elevation it does not obstruct your view of the field or scoreboard, unless you are in the very top rows that happen to be behind the small ad/scoreboard that are hung on either side of the outfields. These seats are usually priced lower than the other seats, but your views may be obstructed by poles and the walk up the ramps are very challenging at times.
One other place I suggest that everyone try at least once, is a rooftop! You are quite a distance from the actual going on at home plate, but the food is usually 100 times better, the “facilities” are much cleaner, and the experience (or the view) is one you won’t forget!
I hope this helps you in figuring out where you want to sit when you are choosing those perfect tickets! Keep in mind when you are going (for example, early in the season, the 200 and 500 sections are handy to keep you out of the cold Chicago elements that are sure to change inning by inning)…but just keep in mind, you will want to stay below row 6. If you are going with a bunch of buddies and want to have a great time, the Bleachers may be what you are looking for. If you want to stay as close to the infield action, you will want to stay in the sections of 11-33, 111-133, 211-229, 412-430, 512-529.
Feel free to share your success or horror stories of your seating adventures at Wrigley! Just remember, it doesn’t matter where you sit when you are there as long as you remember you are in the most beautiful place on earth to a Cub fan!