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Wrigley Field Seating:
Tip #1: The Wrigley Guide

Both Wrigley Field and Fenway Park in Boston were built before that whole “open concourses with trusses” became prevalent in ballpark architecture, and as such the upper decks in both parks are held up by fairly wide support poles. These poles can cause a serious view problem to someone sitting in the wrong seat.

The Cubs and Red Sox do stamp the words “obstructed view” on certain seat tickets, but both clubs will not say as much unless the support pole nearly blocks the view of the entire infield.

Matt Motyka at WrigleyGuide clearly put a great deal of effort into showing fans how they can avoid being behind the dreaded support poles at The Friendly Confines. Type in any seat location, and the Wrigley Guide shows where a seat is on a seating chart, with the location of the poles marked so you have a good idea whether you will be behind one.

This is an invaluable tool if you are ordering tickets online; how many times have you ordered a ticket for a game and had the seat not be where you expected, even though you looked at the view from the seating chart? Wrigley Guide leaves no doubt of exactly where you’ll be. Honestly, I don’t know how these guys do this, but I’m grateful that they do.

And Motyka doesn’t stop there – he also has plenty of information on how to attend a game at Wrigley Field. And he clearly knows the place well—good knowledge to have.

If you’re going to Wrigley and buying tickets online, use the Wrigley Guide website. You won’t be sorry.

Wrigley Guide:

Tip #2: Bleacher Rules For Novices

Like any classic ballpark, Wrigley Field has bleachers… real, bench-style, no back to lean on bleachers. A place to go and be in the sun on a beautiful summer day, a place to drink beer and get loud, a place to surround oneself with real nuts that bleed Cubs blue and bleed too much.

It used to be the home of the Bleacher Bums, low-income folks that would take advantage of low bleacher pricing, but this isn’t the case anymore. Most Terrace and Upper Deck Reserved seats cost less than the bleachers these days, although in both of those cases you’ll be sitting behind support poles that can block your view. (The Wrigley Field E-Guide will explain how you can avoid them.) For prime games, say those against the White Sox or Cardinals, the price for these backless seats is a little absurd.

Still, it’s the bleachers at Wrigley, and for many that is enough. There are a lot of regulars that come out, rain or shine, to have a great time at Wrigley Field, and a better time if the Cubs win.

So if you’re coming from out of town and would like to visit the Wrigley “Bud Light Bleachers” (ugh), there are a couple of things you should probably know.

The first is that the bleachers are separated from the rest of the ballpark and have their own private entrance at the corner of Waveland and Sheffield Avenues. This is important. Other ticket holders cannot visit the bleachers and vice versa.

This means that if you want pictures of the whole ballpark, or you want to wander around the concourse or the food court on the upper level, you won’t be able to do so unless you take the tour. And the tour isn’t cheap, the profits being given to charity notwithstanding. Especially if your funds are limited, if you really want to see Wrigley you need to get a ticket for the rest of the seating bowl.

The second and next most important thing is that the bleachers are still today general admission—which doesn’t mean that the place turns into a mosh pit, but it does mean that you have to get there early to stake out a good seat, and the favorite seats of most fans are the front rows in left field, where batting practice homers provide a plethora of souvenirs for early fans.

If you want one of those, you’d best get there sometime around four hours before the game, at least. (I am amazed at what people will do for a baseball. Consider that half of the balls people catch out there are going to be thrown back anyway.)

Those are the two most important rules; but there are some others, too, like throwing back a home run ball hit by the opposing team, even though the Cubs supposedly don’t allow objects to be thrown onto the field.

A story is told about how a Reds player hit a home run that was thrown back hard enough to land near third-base coach Ray Knight, who picked it up and tossed it to a fan in the nearby seats…who then threw it back onto the field. Knight laughed and tossed it into the dugout.

It’s a shame that fans at Wrigley Field can’t enjoy the whole ballpark experience in one game; the ideal situation would be to be able to attend two games while you’re in town and learn from all sides the depth of fan devotion to North Side Baseball. You can take the tour and sit in the bleachers and that’s great, but the main attraction of the bleachers isn’t the view, it’s the fans.

The bleachers and the seating bowl breed a different kind of Cubs fan, but both of them love their team.

(WrigleyGuide logo courtesy of Matt Motyka.)

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