CHICAGO SUMMER SPORTS GUIDE, 2023
Chicago Cubs Wrigley Field
Professional sports are as quintessential to Chicago as deep-dish pizza and towering skyscrapers. While the Chicago Bears dominated the NFL in the ‘80s and Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls ruled the NBA in the ‘90s, the city now appeals to a new generation of fans who also follow the MLB, WNBA and MLS.
Attending a live sporting event is a must-do in when visiting Chicago, whether that’s soaking up the atmosphere at historic Wrigley Park for a Cubs game; learning fan chants at a Fire soccer match; or marveling over dunks at a Sky game.
Here’s everything you need to know for the ultimate Chicago sports vacation this summer!
Credit: Justin Casterline/Getty Images
Having been established in 1870 as the Chicago White Stockings, the Cubs are deeply rooted in the city’s history. Wrigley Field, their charismatic stadium on Chicago’s North Side, first opened in 1914 (then named Weeghman Park) and it has been delighting baseball fans ever since. Few things are more enjoyable on a sunny afternoon than eating a Hot Doug’s Dog (no ketchup!) and drinking from a “beer bat” while watching power hitter Seiya Suzuki hit a home run.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
On the other side of the city and in the MLB’s other league, the Chicago White Sox host fans at Guaranteed Rate Field. Built in 1991, the stadium is more high-tech and modern than its northern neighbor. Be sure to check out a night game to experience the famous flickering LED lights whenever the White Sox take the field before the first pitch, score a home run, or win a game. Pitcher Dylan Pease narrowly missed out on the Cy Young award last season and is expected to be the player to watch on the White Sox this year!
Chicago White Sox
Founded in 1997, MLS franchise, the Chicago Fire, is far younger than its MLB counterparts but it’s named after an equally-historic event — the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 (the official mascot, a Dalmatian named Sparky, even wears a firefighter suit). Having battled tumultuous years following the team’s formation, the Fire underwent a rebrand for the 2020 season by changing their colors and logo. They also moved permanently to Soldier Field, playing in the Bears’ legendary stadium during the NFL offseason. The Fire are renowned for the hot atmosphere at their matches, which will be extra fun this season with the addition of a new in-stadium host, Chicago radio personality Gabe Ramirez.
Even newer is the Chicago Sky, which joined the women’s basketball league’s Eastern Conference in 2006. Unlike many WNBA teams, the Sky is not affiliated with its host city’s NBA team. Instead of playing in the Bulls’ arena during the WNBA’s summer season, the Sky play at Wintrust Arena at McCormick Square in the Near South Side community, (which is also home to DePaul University’s basketball teams). The highlight of the Sky’s brief history undoubtedly came in October 2021, when the team won their first WNBA title. One of the stars of that championship run was Finals MVP Kahleah Copper, who is now the team’s longest-tenured player.