Tailgating at Soldier Field

El Guapo

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Mrs. El Guapo was kind enough to buy tickets, flights, and hotel for the game at Soldier Field this weekend -- even though she is a born and bred Vikings fan. She's a sweetheart who remembered that seeing a Packers game in Chicago was on my long term bucket list.

Without a car or the ability to bring anything but a beer koozie, what are my best options for good tailgating around Soldier Field? I've never laid eyes on the place. Are there tailgate lots that we can roam? Are there areas that Packers fans usually occupy? Is it best to just find a bar nearby?

Any suggestions are appreciated.
 

Mondio

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I can't help you, only time i've seen it was in February while going to the Shed, but I hope you 2 kids have fun!
 

PikeBadger

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Mrs. El Guapo was kind enough to buy tickets, flights, and hotel for the game at Soldier Field this weekend -- even though she is a born and bred Vikings fan. She's a sweetheart who remembered that seeing a Packers game in Chicago was on my long term bucket list.

Without a car or the ability to bring anything but a beer koozie, what are my best options for good tailgating around Soldier Field? I've never laid eyes on the place. Are there tailgate lots that we can roam? Are there areas that Packers fans usually occupy? Is it best to just find a bar nearby?

Any suggestions are appreciated.
suggestion #1 - Be careful where you go. Under no circumstances should you be roaming around in Englewood.
 
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El Guapo

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I remember being 16yrs old and driving down to Chicago with a friend to visit the Museum of Science & Industry. We got lost leaving that place and drove around a lot through the night. A few weeks later I described it to someone from Chicago, who told me that I had been driving around Cabrini Green which at the time was a pretty dangerous place. I never thought much of it but the experience made me understand that in a big city like Chicago, I needed to be more aware of my surroundings!

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Mondio

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Hey Holmes...

I ended up in an area like that in St. Louis mid Sunday Summer morning one year. Decided to take a different way out of town that usual, my now wife was going to Law school there. anyway, a friend of mine was with for the weekend too, so we decide to take a Scenic route back north thru MO and IA rather than interstate thru IL.

Well 10 minutes after heading down this new path, we were lost. Long before GPS on phones in every car. Every street to turn off was barricaded with cement or gates and not the nice gated community type either. Lots of boarded and burned out houses. Needed a gas station badly.

Finally found a road to turn down, did and we're right in some neighborhood with a big brawl happening at about 10 am on Sunday morning and they all stopped to watch the 2 dudes in a green Saturn with WI license plates drive down the street. We just kept driving and turning hoping we came out somewhere.

Finally hit a more major street and found a gas station. One of the attendants said, you guys must be wondering how to get out of here and laughed when I went in to pay LOL. That was before I asked him if he could give me directions. then he told us the way to a highway that would get us back to the road we were looking for.
 

PikeBadger

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I remember being 16yrs old and driving down to Chicago with a friend to visit the Museum of Science & Industry. We got lost leaving that place and drove around a lot through the night. A few weeks later I described it to someone from Chicago, who told me that I had been driving around Cabrini Green which at the time was a pretty dangerous place. I never thought much of it but the experience made me understand that in a big city like Chicago, I needed to be more aware of my surroundings!

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Lol, I did the exact same thing on a warm summer Friday evening after dark with my entire family in the car. I didn't realize that Cabrini Green was on Ohio Ave but I knew that Ohio had an entrance ramp on the Kennedy. My wife was frantic when she saw the street life. Needless to say I drove fast in that 8 block stretch.
 

El Guapo

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You both had some good experiences. A buddy is from St. Louis and tells all kinds of funny stories about growing up there.

Funny how sometimes it seems "worth it" to pay those Illinois tolls to get back to WI!
 

El Guapo

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I did some research last night. I didn't even know that Soldier Field was on the lake front, versus being tucked back in the boonies like Chicagoland Speedway.

It looks like there are a few parking lots near the stadium. Apparently there are a lot of bars to the west along State and Wabash streets, including a Krolls (anyone know if that is the same Krolls from Green Bay?). Maybe we will stroll down those streets, hit a bar or two, then meander through the parking lots with a walking beer or two. Maybe I'll bring the white trash cooler with me, a ziplock bag with hotel ice.
 

Poppa San

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There are three Kroll's. East and West in Green Bay and as you discovered South in Chicago. Son or nephew I think runs it. News article about it a decade back I faintly recall.

I've parked at Soldiers Field as it is across the street from the natural history museum. Back when the Field looked like a stadium and not a crashed UFO.
 

El Guapo

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Thanks for that Poppa. It seems that we are going to be staying down there by the Krolls so it caught my attention. Hopefully a few of these places open early for thirsty fans.
 

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First off, congratulations on your bucket list entry. I haven't been to Soldier(s) Field since 1973 - age JUST barely 15. MAN it was cold, maybe 20-degrees with a fairly strong wind into the stadium. Jerry Tagge was the Pack's starting QB that day, threw, like 10 passes all game. Pack won but my buddy and I did not feel safe in that stadium - FIBs have never been good hosts. As I recall, Mac and Brock both went over 100 yards that day.

I hate Bears' fans. I've figured it out in my advancing years. The Bears' organization, the team itself ... respect, respect, respect. Their fans? Low brow and kind of marginal. Even back then. I always hope that the Pack beat the Bears in a soul crushing fashion - last second stuff or a huge blowout. Just to inflict agony on their crappy fans.

In that vein, I readily admit that I hate the Bears (fans).
 

realitybytez

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I've parked at Soldiers Field as it is across the street from the natural history museum. Back when the Field looked like a stadium and not a crashed UFO.
i saw pink floyd play there in june of '77 on the animals tour. i'm pretty sure i saw a crashed ufo that night.

no wait. that was in august of '77 when ufo opened for peter frampton.
 

El Guapo

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Post-game report.

Having never been there before, I was pleasantly surprised by Soldier Field. I'm not architect so I won't comment on how it looked. However, the open concourse was nice and the views are great. We were in the upper level of the endzone and felt on top of the field.

The fans were actually really nice too, both in pre-game and in the stands. There was one yahoo behind us screaming at every play. As usual, the loudest person tends to be the dumbest. He clearly does not understand the rules of football. That guy aside, everyone was nice and the stadium is in a nice part of town.

Mrs. El Guapo wants to go back ever year. How can I say no?
 
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