Soldier Field
Chicago, IL

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Soldier Field Tips for Bears Gameday, Concerts and Other Events

bears entering field at solider field
Gameday is a huge event when the Bears are playing at Soldier Field

Grilling, Tailgating, and Pre-gaming Before an Event at Soldier Field

Tailgating lots around Soldier Field are always in high demand. All official Soldier Field event parking lots will allow for fans to hang out, drink, cook, and play games prior to all events at Soldier Field. Whether you are prepping to cheer on the Bears or going to sing along at a concert, Soldier Field and tailgating seem to go hand in hand.

Best Lots for Tailgating

Four main lots make up the areas to tailgate: South Lot, Waldron Deck, East Museum lot and the Adler lot. Each is unique in its own way and it can be tricky figuring out where to go. Fans can start tailgating up to four hours prior to the start of the event. See where each lot is located and the best way to get there here. Also, beware most lots REQUIRE coupons before arrival for your event.

The South Lot is the largest parking lot for tailgating. On Bears gamedays, this lot becomes a sea of fans with a haze of grill smoke up above. You will mostly find single cars here.

If you are lucky enough to park in the East Museum Lot, you are in one of the best areas to tailgate. This lot is premium and is the closest lot to the stadium for tailgating. You will find some of the most die hard bear fans here before a game.

The Adler Lot is where you will find a lot of the big boys. RVs and over-sized vehicles park over here. For this reason, you will find some of the largest parties in this lot. If tailgating with someone here, be sure to bring an empty stomach because food will be plentiful!

The Waldron Deck is a two story parking garage. Only the top (outdoor) level allows for tailgating. Besides the East Museum lot, this is the next smallest. However, fans parking on lower levels can be found heading up to the top level to join the party creating some great pre-game parties.

soldier field tailgating u of i
University of Illinois fans tailgating before a game at Soldier Field against USF

Concert tailgating is a lot tamer when it comes to the crowd. Bears fans love to show off their team pride in a variety of ways. For some fans it's simple face paint, for others it's flags/car paint, and others it’s a massive stereo system with enough food to feed the offensive line for a year. Regardless, if pre-gaming at Soldier Field, be sure to walk around and see what others are up to. Tailgating is always an inviting and friendly atmosphere (unless you're wearing a cheesehead).

For more information on Soldier Field parking, visit the official page for Soldier Field.

Things to Know Before Entering Soldier Field Gates

Soldier Field is no different than any other major stadium around the U.S. when it comes to heightened security. Fans should always plan for ample time to pass through security and enter the gates. Soldier Field upholds a Clear Bag Policy for ALL events which requires any bags larger than 4.5"x6.5" inches to be see-through. Bags also may not exceed 12"x6"x12 in general. When in doubt, bring or purchase a clear bag because this is a strict policy. Trust us, the worst thing to do is to wait in a long security line only be turned away at the gates due to your bag. Arrive prepared!

Gate Times

For football games, gates will open two hours prior to kickoff. That is 10AM for noon games, 1PM for the 3PM afternoon games, and 5:30PM for anything in primetime.

Happy Bears Fans
Bears Fans Cheering at Soldier Field

Gate times can vary for concert, soccer, or other events at Soldier Field. The best resource to check for specific event "Gates Open" is to head to the official page for Soldier Field and clicking on your event.

Parking and Alternative Options for Events at Soldier Field

Unfortunately, Soldier Field is not in the best location for parking or alternative transportation. With Lake Shore Drive, Field Museum, and Lake Michigan on its borders, Soldier Field quickly becomes a gridlock of cars and buses near the stadium on event days. For this reason, many lots require pre-purchased Soldier Field parking tickets or season pass coupons for entry to speed up the parking process.

If you don't have a coupon or are turned away by the prices of the parking lots it's not a bad idea to look into alternatives. There are several options if you make your way over toward the South Loop. Roosevelt Rd. and Michigan Ave. is a good intersection to target when looking for alternative parking.

South Loop Near Soldier Field
The South Loop of Chicago Near Soldier Field

Public Transportation

There is public transportation that will get you closer to Solder Field as well. The Red, Green, and Orange lines all stop at Roosevelt station which is about 3/4 of a mile away from the Soldier Field Gates. If you don't want to walk that distance, CTA bus #146 will take you from the station to the stadium.

Rideshares

Soldier Field also has a designated drop off for ride share users. However, you will have to work your way through event traffic to get there. Many times fans push their luck to get the stadium from what their GPS estimates and the traffic builds up as they are in transit. Account for this! Give yourself a 20-30 minute buffer before you want to arrive. If you get there early, great! Go make some friends at a tailgate party.