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Going to a Chicago Bears game? What you need to know about Soldier Field, including the COVID-19 guidelines and where to park — and tailgate.

Chicago Tribune logo Chicago Tribune 9/28/2021 Kori Rumore, Chicago Tribune
Chicago Bears tight end Jesse James (18), left, celebrates after making a touchdown reception in the third quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Soldier Field Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, in Chicago. © John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune Chicago Bears tight end Jesse James (18), left, celebrates after making a touchdown reception in the third quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Soldier Field Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, in Chicago.

Welcome back to Soldier Field, Chicago Bears fans.

Here are some tips on how to buy tickets, get to the stadium and follow COVID-19 guidelines while you’re there.

And columnist Paul Sullivan has some tips on how to get a selfie with Bears Chairman George McCaskey.

COVID-19 guidelines at Soldier Field

  • As of Aug. 20, everyone age 2 and older — regardless of vaccination status — is required to wear masks in public indoor settings. At Soldier Field this includes the United Club, Miller Lite Midway, Pro Shop, North Garage, bathrooms, elevators and enclosed hallways.
  • Masks can be removed, however when fans are actively eating or drinking.
  • Masks are optional outdoors — including open-air concourses and the seating bowl.
Security for Chicago Bears Family Fest for Bears training camp practice held at Soldier Field in Chicago on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021 © Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune Security for Chicago Bears Family Fest for Bears training camp practice held at Soldier Field in Chicago on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021

Read more about the precautions and safety procedures the stadium is taking this season.

Tickets

  • Mobile tickets are required — PDF tickets no longer will be valid — to enter Soldier Field and can be accessed through the official Chicago Bears app, which can be downloaded for free on Apple or Android devices, in Google Play or through the Apple App Store. You also can access mobile tickets through the internet browser on your smartphone. Log in to your account through Ticketmaster. Instructions on how to manage your mobile tickets are available at chicagobears.com.
  • No screenshots of tickets or any ticket produced by an unauthorized source will be accepted.
  • Add your tickets to your phone’s digital wallet in advance to avoid slow or weak Wi-Fi or cellular signals at Soldier Field.
  • Make sure you have a full battery charge before you head to the stadium.
  • If you are attending with guests, transfer each person their ticket in advance.
  • If you do not have a smartphone, please contact the Bears ticket office at 847-615-2327 or ticket.office@bears.nfl.net for assistance.
  • Visit the ticket office located outside Gate 10 on the southeast corner of Soldier Field for assistance on game day.

Getting to Soldier Field

No matter what form of public transportation fans use, drop-off and pickup are at the corner of McFetridge and Special Olympics drives, just northeast of the stadium.

Bears and Green Bay Packers fans tailgate in cold weather at Soldier Field. © Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune Bears and Green Bay Packers fans tailgate in cold weather at Soldier Field.

Soldier Field is located at 1410 S. Special Olympics Dr., Chicago, IL, 60605.

Chicago Transit Authority

Check out transitchicago.com for fare information, route schedules and maps.

South parking lot outside Soldier field right before the Bears vs the Detroit Lions Game. © Lenny Gilmore South parking lot outside Soldier field right before the Bears vs the Detroit Lions Game.

Metra

A Chicago Bears worker uses their phone to scan in e-tickets before the start of a game between the Chicago Bears and the Carolina Panthers at Soldier Field on Thursday, August 8, 2019 in Chicago. Some scans went quickly while other fans said they took it more the 20 minutes to scan their tickets because the app crashed and the scanners didn't work properly. © Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune A Chicago Bears worker uses their phone to scan in e-tickets before the start of a game between the Chicago Bears and the Carolina Panthers at Soldier Field on Thursday, August 8, 2019 in Chicago. Some scans went quickly while other fans said they took it more the 20 minutes to scan their tickets because the app crashed and the scanners didn't work properly.

Six Metra lines connect to Union Station and Ogilvie Transportation Center:

Chicago Bears tight end Jesse James (18), left, celebrates after making a touchdown reception in the third quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Soldier Field Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, in Chicago. © Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune Chicago Bears tight end Jesse James (18), left, celebrates after making a touchdown reception in the third quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Soldier Field Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, in Chicago.

Metra offers two weekend-pass options. Unlimited rides on Saturday or Sunday are $7. Up to three children age 12 and under can ride free with each fare-paying adult. A weekend pass includes unlimited rides for $10, available only in the Ventra app. Heading to a weeknight game? An all-day pass is $10. Fares may be purchased in advance.

Bears fans celebrate after quarterback Justin Fields rushes for a touchdown during a preseason game at Soldier Field on Aug. 14, 2021. © John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune Bears fans celebrate after quarterback Justin Fields rushes for a touchdown during a preseason game at Soldier Field on Aug. 14, 2021.

Check metra.com for route schedules and maps.

  • From Ogilvie Transportation Center (southbound on Clinton Street at Madison Street) and Union Station (bus stop on Jackson Street east of Canal Street): Take the nonstop No. 128 Soldier Field Express to the stadium. The roundtrip bus fare is $5 for adults or $2.50 for seniors and children ages 7-11. The express service is available beginning 90 minutes before kickoff and for 60 minutes after the game ends.
  • South Shore Line: Runs on the Metra Electric Line tracks from South Bend, Ind., to downtown Chicago. Select trains will stop at Metra’s 18th Street Station, which connects passengers directly to the stadium’s entrance via a pedestrian walkway.
  • Metra Electric Line: Will provide extra service during Bears home games with trains stopping at the 18th Street Station and the Museum Campus/11st Street Station, which is near Soldier Field.

Pace

  • Because of a staffing shortage, Pace is planning to offer shuttle service to Soldier Field for just the first two home games of the regular season. Check pacebus.com for the latest information.

Ride sharing and taxis

  • Pregame drop-off: Locations are at the 18th Street turnaround just west of Lake Shore Drive and on Balbo Drive at Columbus Drive.
  • Postgame pickup: Balbo Drive at Columbus Drive.

Parking

At the stadium

  • All parking passes surrounding the stadium require a prepaid parking pass, which will be sent to fans electronically after purchase. Fans can either print their pass and display it on the rearview mirror of their vehicle or have it scanned from the Chicago Bears app.
  • These lots open four hours before kickoff and close two hours after the game.

Off-site parking

  • Some off-site lots — including Museum Campus, Millennium Garages and McCormick Place Lots B, C and D — allow fans to purchase passes in advance.

Lots that accept cash for drive-up parking on game day

  • Grant Park South (entrance is on Michigan Avenue between Jackson Blvd. and Van Buren Street): Regular daily posted rate if not purchased in advance. No tailgating allowed. No shuttle service.
  • McCormick Place Lakeside Garage Lot C (entrance on Fort Dearborn Drive): No tailgating allowed. No shuttle service.
  • Burnham Harbor Lot (entrance located on Waldron and Special Olympics drives): Available beginning in November, after boating season. Tailgating is allowed.

Lots with shuttle service to Soldier Field

  • 31st Street McCormick Place Lot B (3050 S. Moe Drive, Chicago, IL, 60616): Shuttle operates two hours before kickoff through two hours after the end of the game with limited return service available during the game. Tailgating is allowed.
  • Grant Park North (entrance is on Michigan Avenue between Randolph and Monroe streets): Free shuttle departs from lower Randolph Street and arrives at 18th Street. Service begins three hours before kickoff and ends two hours after the end of the game. No tailgating. Regular daily posted rate if not purchased in advance.
  • Millennium Garages (entrance is located off Columbus Drive between Monroe Street and Randolph Street): Free shuttle departs from lower Randolph Street and arrives at 18th Street. Service begins three hours before kickoff and ends two hours after the end of the game. No tailgating. Game-day, drive-up and advance, prepaid parking are available.

Alcohol-free, family-friendly lots

Residential areas

  • No parking is allowed within this area surrounding Soldier Field. Violators could be ticketed and towed.

Tailgating

  • The following lots are the only ones that allow tailgating: all Museum Campus surface lots, the upper level of Waldron Deck and the Southwest Parking Facilities (including McCormick Place 31st Steet lots B, D and E only). Restrooms are available in the North Garage and Waldron Deck.
  • If it’s a day game, then tailgating is allowed before and after the game. Night game? Only allowed before games — never afterward. Tailgating is not allowed during the game — no matter the time of day.

Items not allowed in tailgating areas:

  • Advertising banners or displays.
  • Disorderly conduct.
  • No alcohol is allowed in the family-friendly lots (Adler Planetarium, 18th Street Lot and 31st Street Beach Lot).
  • Grills, fire pits and open fires are prohibited in enclosed garages and the lower level of Waldron Deck but are allowed in open-air surface lots.
  • Tailgate setups cannot block vehicles from entering or exiting the parking lots.
  • Heaters that use liquefied fuel are not allowed in the Waldron Deck, North Garage or any enclosed garage.
  • Picketing or political campaigning.
  • Saving parking spaces.
  • Tents of any size.
  • Tethered blimps, balloons and other oversized inflatables.
  • Weapons, fireworks.

Bag policy

One bag per person is permitted inside Soldier Field. This bag can be:

  • Clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and not exceed 12-by-6-by-12 inches.
  • Or a one-gallon, resealable, clear-freezer bag.
  • Or a women’s clutch purse no larger than 4½-by-6½ inches.
  • Or a medical bag for accompanying another patron.

The following types of bags are not allowed inside Soldier Field:

  • Purses larger than a clutch bag
  • Coolers
  • Briefcases
  • Backpacks of any kind
  • Fanny packs
  • Non-clear cinch bags
  • Luggage of any kind
  • Seat cushions with zippered covers, pockets or flaps
  • Binocular bags
  • Camera bags
  • Computer bags
  • Any bag larger than the permissible size

Refer to this list of prohibited items that won’t be allowed inside Soldier Field — including “Palcohol” (powdered alcohol).

Security

Text the issue and location to 815-880-1920 or 312-235-7999.

When the Bears score a touchdown ...

Sing the team’s fight song, ‘Bear Down, Chicago Bears.’

Here are the lyrics:

Bear down, Chicago Bears, make every play clear the way to victory;

Bear down, Chicago Bears, put up a fight with a might so fearlessly.

We’ll never forget the way you thrilled the nation, with your T-formation.

Bear down, Chicago Bears, and let them know why you’re wearing the crown.

You’re the pride and joy of Illinois, Chicago Bears, bear down.

Sources: NFL; Chicago Bears; Tribune archives and reporting

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