After a long league lockout, baseball is officially back.
The Chicago Cubs 2022 season gets underway Thursday – MLB Opening Day – when they face the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field.
From COVID protocols at Wrigley (will you need a mask?), to the weather forecast (...will you need a raincoat?) here’s everything you need to know about the Chicago Cubs home opener.
What Time Does the Game Start?
The Cubs will take on the Milwaukee Brewers at 1:20 p.m. The game can be seen on Marquee Sports Network and heard on 670 the Score.
What's the Game Day Weather Forecast?
While it won't be the coldest start to the season, and it certainly won't be the warmest.
Expect a typical spring day in Chicago: Rainy and chilly.
There's a 50 percent chance of scattered showers throughout the day, so you'll definitely want to pack your Cubs poncho.
Highs are expected to reach the mid-40s, with the first pitch forecast at 44 degrees. Wind gusts around 25-to-30 miles per hour will make it feel colder.
Are There Still Paper Tickets for the Game?
The Cubs have announced that tickets to Wrigley Field will exclusively be available as digital tickets. Fans can use the MLB Ballpark app to gain entry to the stadium.
As of Thursday morning, tickets were not sold out for Opening Day and still available.
Is There Any New Ballpark Food at Wrigley Field?
The Cubs will have a quartet of new food options available at Wrigley Field this season, including their spin on an iconic Chicago dish, as the Maxwell Street-style pork chop sandwich will be available at the Friendly Confines.
The Cubs will also offer “The Twisted Tater,” a crispy spiral potato skewer with dill pickle dip on the side, a new Nashville hot chicken sandwich, and a new smoked brisket sandwich from Lillie Q’s.
And of course, local favorites like Vienna Beef, Hot Doug's Home Run Inn Pizza and Garrett's Popcorn will still be available.
What are the COVID Rules at Wrigley Field?
According to the team’s website, there aren't any current COVID rules at the Friendly Confines.
The city of Chicago removed both its proof-of-vaccination and mask requirements in late February, and even as cases slowly inch upward, there has been no indication that either requirement will be put back into force.
One protocol change that was kept in place by the Cubs was the introduction of cashless concessions, merchandise stands and vendors. Fans will still need to either bring a credit or debit card to the ballpark, or they can order items on the MLB Ballpark app for pickup at concessions stands in the stadium.
Wait — Wrigley Field is a Cashless Facility?
Fans will only be able to use credit and debit cards to pay for items at concession stands and merchandise stores. Fans can still place food and beverage orders via the MLB Ballpark app.
Other items, including 50/50 tickets and vendor payments, will also be cashless.
When do the Gates Open at Wrigley?
Gates will open two hours prior to first pitch at 11:20 a.m.
What's the Best Way to Get to Wrigley Field?
Parking at Wrigley Field: Free remote parking is available at 3900 N. Rockwell St. for night and weekend games, with a free shuttle service to and from Wrigley Field. More parking options and a map can be found here.
Public Transportation for Wrigley Field: The CTA runs extra trains and buses before and after Cubs games. Tickets for the train are $2.50, and $2.25 for the bus.
- Red Line: CTA’s Addison station is located just a half block east of Wrigley Field.
- Purple Line: During weeknight games, southbound Purple Line Express trains will stop at Sheridan, where riders can either walk three blocks south on Sheridan/Sheffield to the ballpark or transfer to a southbound Red Line train and exit at the Addison station.
- Yellow Line: Take the Yellow Line southbound and transfer at Howard to the Red Line; continue to Addison station. To accommodate fans returning home, the Yellow Line will run for an hour later from Howard – until midnight – for all night games at Wrigley Field.
- #152 Addison: The #152 route will provide additional service on Cubs game days, with more frequent service two hours before and one hour after all games.
- #80 Irving Park: The #80 route will provide extra service before the games, timed to meet the inbound UP-NW Metra trains at Irving Park.
- Adjacent bus routes: Several CTA bus routes serve the Wrigley Field area, including: #8 Halsted,#22 Clark, #36 Broadway, #151 Sheridan
What Size Bags Can You Bring In?
Only bags smaller than 16x16x8 inches in size are permitted inside of Wrigley Field. Exceptions are made for medical bags and diaper bags, the team says.
Who Will Throw Out the First Pitch?
A group of Cubs Hall of Famers will continue a recent tradition of throwing out the first pitch ahead of the game against the Brewers.
Other Pregame Activities
The Cubs plan to show solidarity with Ukraine, with the Ukrainian American Youth Association Choir of the Mykola Pavlushkov Branch in Chicago performing the nation’s national anthem.
A special 50/50 raffle will support relief efforts in Ukraine, and Cubs employees will wear pins supporting the country.
The Ukrainian flag will also be flown prominently around the stadium.
Who Will Sing the Seventh Inning Stretch?
The Cubs Hall of Famers who will throw out the first pitches will also team up for a rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
What Kind of Bold Predictions Are Our Experts Making?
The Cubs have made plenty of changes to their roster over the last year, and NBC Sports Chicago experts David Kaplan, Tim Stebbins and Gordon Wittenmyer gathered to give their hottest opinions on what fans can expect from the Cubs this season.
What about the Chicago White Sox — When do They Play?
The White Sox play Friday in Detroit against the Tigers at 12:10 p.m. (and the weather isn't looking great there, either).
The White Sox home opener is April 12 at 3:10 p.m. against the Seattle Mariners.