It's going to be a big day for Chicago sports Monday -- and plenty of fans will be flocking to the city to see the action unfold live.
With the Chicago Cubs looking to regain their series lead against the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field for their first home game of the postseason and Chicago Bears rookie Mitch Trubisky making his regular season debut in Monday Night Football, there will be no shortage of excitement.
But as fans prepare to trek around the city for the big games, there's a lot they need to know.
Authorities are urging fans to use public transportation for both games Monday.
Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications advises riders see the CTA website at www.transitchicago.com or call 1-888-YOUR-CTAfor information about CTA's increased service or reroutes for the games. For Metra, visit www.metrarail.com or call (any area code in region) 836-7000.
For limousines or ride-share drivers, drop-off, pickup and staging will be held on Irving Park Road between Clark and Seminary. Taxi drop-off, pickup and staging will be on Clark, south of Roscoe. Coach buses will be on Irving Park Road.
Driving from I-55:
Take I-55, the Stevenson Expressway, northbound to Lake Shore Drive/Highway 41 North. Take LSD north to the 18th Drive exit.
Driving from I-290:
Take I-290, the Eisenhower Expressway, east to Congress Parkway. Take Congress Parkway to Columbus Drive. Turn right and take Columbus Drive south to the 18th Drive exit.
Driving from I-90/94:
Take I-90/94, the Dan Ryan Expressway, north to the Lake Shore Drive/22nd street exit. Stay to the right and exit to LSD. Take LSD/Highway 41 north to the 18th Drive exit.
Driving from I-94:
Take I-94, the Kennedy Expressway, south to the Congress Parkway exit. Follow Congress Parkway to Columbus Drive. Turn right on Columbus Drive and follow Columbus south to the 18th Drive exit.
Taxi and rideshare drop-off:
• McFetridge Drive turnaround east of Lake Shore Drive
• 18th Street turnaround west of LSD
• Balbo Drive and Columbus Drive
Taxi and rideshare pick-up:
• Balbo Drive and Columbus Drive
*Taxi cabs, limousines, and buses will not be allowed to enter Soldier Field Campus starting 90 minutes after kick-off. The campus will re-open 1 hour after the game is over.
There are 11 rail lines that extend from the suburbs to downtown Chicago. These rail lines exit downtown at four stations:
• LaSalle Street Station – on LaSalle Street between Van Buren Street and Congress Parkway
• Union Station – on Canal Street between Adams Street and Jackson Boulevard
• Ogilvie Transportation Center – on Madison Street and Canal Street
• Millennium Station – on Randolph Street and Michigan Avenue
From Ogilvie Transportation Center (OTC) and Union Station:
From OTC and Union Station, the #128 Soldier Field Express buses travel a non-stop route to Soldier Field. CTA's #128 Soldier Field Express buses begin leaving the stations starting two hours before game time until 30 minutes after kickoff. At OTC, board buses on Madison Street. At Union Station, board buses on Jackson Boulevard east of Canal Street.
South Shore Line runs trains on the Metra Electric Line from South Bend, Indiana to downtown Chicago, serving the southeast portion of Chicago and northwest Indiana. Exit at the McCormick Place stop at 18th Street and walk one block north to Soldier Field.
The Red, Orange, and Green Lines stop at Roosevelt Station, between State Street and Wabash Avenue, where transfers can be made to the #146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express bus, or walk east on Roosevelt Road through Museum Campus to the stadium.
Soldier Field can be reached on the #128 Soldier Field Express and the #146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express buses.
To exit Soldier Field after the game, board #128 and #146 buses along the west side of the Transportation Center ("East Museum Lot") at the corner of McFetridge and Museum Campus Drive, just northeast of the stadium.
The Cubs offer free remote parking at 3900 N. Rockwell St., just east of the Chicago River and accessed from Irving Park Road. The lot includes free shuttle service to and from Wrigley Field, beginning three and a half hours before the first pitch until one hour after the end of the game.
No parking will be allowed on the following streets, beginning at 8 a.m. Monday through 11 p.m. Tuesday:
• Clark from Roscoe to Irving Park
• Sheffield from Grace to Roscoe
• Addison from Halsted to Southport
• Racine from: Clark to Roscoe
• Irving Park from Clark to Seminary
• Eddy from Clark to west alley of Clark
• Cornelia from Clark to west alley of Clark
• Newport from Clark to west alley of Clark
If your car is towed, call 311 for assistance.
Parking lots open at 3:30 p.m. and close at midnight. Neighborhood parking restrictions are in effect.
Parking garages include:
• North Garage
• South Parking Lot
• Waldron Parking Deck
• East Museum Lot
• Adler Planetarium Lot
• 31st Street McCormick Place Lot B: Shuttles begin service 2 hours before kickoff to take fans to Soldier Field. After the game, board McCormick Place shuttles at the 18th street shuttle turnaround on the south side of the street, just west of Lake Shore Drive. There is limited return shuttle service available during the game. Shuttles will run until 2 hours after the end of the game.
• Grant Park North/Millennium Park Garages: Shuttles begin service 3 hours before kickoff and run through the first quarter to take fans to Soldier Field. After the game, board Grant Park North/Millennium Park over the pedestrian bridge at 18th Street just west of Lake Shore Drive. There is limited return shuttle service available during the game. Shuttles will run until 2 hours after the end of the game.
The following streets will be closed two hours prior to the game and one hour after the game. Only residents and those with parking passes will be allowed on these streets:
• Clark from Racine to Newport
• Sheffield from Clark to Grace
• Addison from Halsted to Racine
Fans are encouraged to arrive early at Wrigley to allow time for enhanced security measures – including metal detector screenings and bag searches, according to OEMC. Fans will not be required to remove shoes, key or belts, but will be required to remove cell phones and cameras for the screenings.
A Cubs Hotline opens one hour before the game and continues until two hours after the game. Residents are being asked to contact either the Night Game Hotline at 1-866-427-3869 to report problems or issues in the area or call 9-1-1 for any immediate threats.
Officials also encourage fans "if you see something, say something."
"As always, it is the responsibility of all to remain vigilant and report suspicious activity," OEMC said in a statement. "If you notice suspicious criminal activity or suspicious objects, call 9-1-1 or notify on-site security immediately."
"In an effort to ensure the safety of all guests, Soldier Field has enhanced security through the use of walk-through metal detectors at all gates. All carry-in items will be searched," according to the Bears' website.
Gates open two hours before kickoff. Allow extra time for the screening process.
Officials also encourage guests "if you see something suspicious, notify stadium personnel immediately."
WHAT YOU CAN AND CAN'T BRING
Here is what you can't bring:
• Bags larger than 16 x 16 x 8 inches
• Containers (cans, aerosol spray, glass, hard-sided coolers, thermoses or flasks)
• Illegal drugs
• Laser pointers
• Luggage or car seats
• Noise makers
• Non-factory sealed plastic bottles
• Portable stadium seats
• Selfie sticks
• Unmanned aerial vehicles
• Weapons of any kind
The NFL's bag policy remains in effect, meaning no purses or backpacks are allowed in the stadium except:
• Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12"x6"x12"
• One-gallon re-sealable clear freezer bag
• Women's clutch purse no larger than 4.5" x 6.5" along with one of the clear bags
• Medical bags for accompanying patron
Other prohibited items include:
• Alcoholic beverages and "Palcohol" (Powdered Alcohol)
• Any bag, case or purse other than an NFL approved bag is prohibited, see "Bag Policy" below.
• Seat cushions with zippered covers, pockets or flaps
• Balloons and beach balls
• Cameras with lenses that exceed 6" when fully extended
• Cans, bottles, or other beverage containers
• Clothing or signage with offensive or vulgar language or that blocks fans' view
• Fireworks, smoke bombs
• Illegal drugs
• Laser pens and pointers
• Noise-making devices (i.e. horns, whistles, etc.)
• Poles of any kind, including selfie-sticks
• Video or movie cameras
• Using smokeless cigarettes, e-cigarettes or chewing smokeless tobacco
• Any other items deemed to be dangerous or inappropriate
• Unmanned Aircraft Systems ("Drones")
• Any coolers and ice chests (includes soft sided)
The Better Business Bureau is warning Cubs fans about scammers heading into Monday's game and the rest of the postseason.
"Whenever there's excitement about a special event, like the Cubs post-season appearance, there are counterfeiters who hope to cash in on unsuspecting fans," Steve Bernas, president and CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois, said in a statement. "Fake ticket sellers know that fan fever can often cloud common sense and smart buying judgement. Scalper tickets are commonplace, but now more than ever, people need to be careful so they are not ripped-off by bad guys selling fake tickets."
Here are some tips from the BBB for avoiding scams:
• Purchase from the venue. Whenever possible, use the official ticket sales agent for the venue. Many now offer secondary sales options, as well.
• Consider your source. Know the difference between a professional ticket broker (a legitimate and accredited reseller), a ticket scalper (an unregulated and unlicensed ticket seller), and a scammer selling fraudulent tickets.
• Check out the seller/broker. Look them up on bbb.org to learn what other customers have experienced.
• Buy only from trusted vendors. Buy online only from vendors you know and trust. Look for the lock symbol in the web address to indicate a secure purchasing system. Don't click through from emails or online ads; a common scam trick is to create a web address that is similar to a well-known company.
• Know the refund policy. You should only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction.
• Use payment methods that come with protection. Always use a credit card so you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Debit cards, wire transfer or cash transactions are risky; if the tickets are fraudulent, you won't be able to get your money back.
• Let the buyer and seller beware. There have been instances of on-line sellers and buyers being ripped off, attacked, and even one fatal incident when a seller showed up at a meet up sight and was robbed and killed.
• Remember to always report scammers. If you've been cheated, or if you see suspicious activity, report the scam to authorities and BBB Scam Tracker to warn others.
To avoid counterfeit tickets, the Chicago Bears suggest that fans purchase tickets directly from the Chicago Bears Ticket Office or from Ticketmaster.
Also remember, the selling and purchasing of game tickets on Park District property is prohibited. Both the seller AND purchaser are subject to arrest.
Day of game ticket sales begin at 5:30 p.m. at Gate 2.
After a cool start with most areas in the 50s Monday morning, temps will rise quickly into the mid- and upper-70s, with a few locations reaching 80 degrees by the afternoon. Still, things will turn cooler along the lakefront as light winds turn N/NE 5 to 15 mph dropping temps to the upper- then mid-60s during the Cubs game late Monday afternoon.
Partly cloudy and pleasantly cool for the Bears game with temps in the mid-60s for kickoff and low-60s at game's end.
See the full forecast.
THINGS TO WATCH FOR
There will be a number of celebrities joining in the Cubs festivities Monday.
The team announced on Sunday that legendary comedian Bill Murray will be singing the seventh inning stretch during Game 3 against the Washington Nationals. Legendary outfielder Billy Williams, whose number 26 flies from the right field foul pole during games, will throw out the first pitch, and famous former Bears head coach Mike Ditka will (likely) yell “Play ball” before the game begins.
Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will make his regular season debut in Monday night's game, which will be nationally televised from Soldier Field.