Scalping a ticket to Wrigley
June 17, 2010 6:53 AM   Subscribe

Is it worth my while to hit Wrigley tomorrow afternoon for the Cubs game?

I'm flying into Chicago tomorrow morning for a graduation/wedding weekend extravaganza. As a veteran of literally hundreds of Fenway Park games, but none at any other major league park, I'm thinking about checking out tomorrow's game at Wrigley. Will it be easy to find a ticket outside the park? I won't be looking for anything premium, and I'm not interested in buying anything in advance (I may or may not actually have the afternoon free, and if there are any delays in my travel I want to be able to change plans without stressing about eating the cost of a ticket). I'm not at all afraid to shop around and do something else if the prices are too high for my taste, which is something I often do in Boston. Will that work in Chicago? Do scalpers work the streets around the park? Is there an area (a la Kenmore) where they're easy enough to find? Are there likely to be reasonable tickets to be had (say, sub-$100)?
posted by Banky_Edwards to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (18 answers total)
I don't know if there's a special area, but I used to live near Wrigley and would often scalp tickets at the last minute. It was always incredibly easy. Tickets become super cheap (way less than $100 even before) once the game starts. The area is fantastic - lots of sports bars, shopping, and fun stuff to do. The part itself is really cool. Very old school with hardly a bad seat in the place. This is a park where you can actually enjoy bleacher seats if you want. Food's great too.
posted by xammerboy at 7:07 AM on June 17, 2010

Oh yes, give it a try. You have a good chance. Bleacher seats are absolutely the most fun,you will meet some real characters who know how to have a good time, even if the Cubbies don't win (they have a lot of practice)!
posted by Lylo at 7:10 AM on June 17, 2010

If you like Fenway you will like Wrigley. These are the two classic parks in the majors. Do not miss Wrigley if you get the chance. I do not like the Cubs, but there is never a bad day in that park. Cancel a meeting if you have to. Just do not give up this opportunity to catch a game at one of the all time great ballparks. I think your forehead is feeling a bit warm. Just don't make it onto TV ala Ferris Beuller. :)
posted by caddis at 7:35 AM on June 17, 2010

Just a word of advice from a veteran scalped-ticket-buyer: If the person looks a little shady, tell them you'll buy the ticket as long as they walk with you up to the entrance and see you through, then you'll hand them the money. Works every time to weed out the fake tickets. Also, you'll be more likely to find a ticket if you walk around holding up one finger (to signify that you need only one ticket) rather than asking every person who looks like they have a ticket. Cops will hassle you if you are buying tickets too close to the stadium entrance (you've gotta be across the street). Have cash in small amounts ($10 bills) so you can easily pay without getting scammed into "Ohh I don't have change for a $20, but here are two $1s, is that cool?").

Have fun and don't forget sunscreen.
posted by banannafish at 7:48 AM on June 17, 2010

Absolutely do it. Very easy to get tickets and a ton of fun. Bleachers are fun, but not for the faint-hearted. The red line stops right by wrigley.
posted by smelvis at 8:30 AM on June 17, 2010

Best answer: The way the Cubs are playing this year, there may still be tickets still available from the box office. Just avoid the obstructed view seats.

If you have to go with a scalper, there are ALWAYS people to buy from, usually steps away from the Red Line. And, the prices drop like a rock after the first pitch.
posted by achmorrison at 8:36 AM on June 17, 2010

My first thought was "Is this a trick question?"

Of course it's worth it. It's Wrigley. My god.

posted by FlamingBore at 9:55 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Go go go go go. As in, go. IIRC, I paid 10 bucks for a scalped bleacher seat after the game had started a couple of years ago. Wrigley bleachers + a couple of Old Styles = heaven
posted by shallowcenter at 10:08 AM on June 17, 2010

Response by poster: Yes, my subject line was somewhat misleading - Wrigley is probably the only ballpark I'm really dying to see regardless of the actual teams on the field. Since I only have tomorrow (at best) free in the city, I didn't want to head down there only to find that tickets are scarce or difficult to find on the streets, or outrageously priced.

Thanks everyone for the encouragement, I will definitely make an effort to see the game tomorrow, my only disappointment being that thanks to interleague play my first game in an NL park will feature an AL team I've seen dozens of times!
posted by Banky_Edwards at 10:10 AM on June 17, 2010

It is always worth going to Wrigley for a baseball game. I was a regular show up 20 minutes before game time guy for several years, several years ago. 95% of time I got a ticket at a very reasonable price. Sometime face value, sometime less and sometimes more. If the cards are in town it will cost more.

If you are only looking for one ticket, you might even get a season holder who has an extra to give you one.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:12 AM on June 17, 2010

Response by poster: And while I'm here, if any other Chicago folks happen to cruise by this thread, I'd welcome suggestions for bars that are worth checking out anywhere between downtown and Evanston (where I'll be staying). My tastes run towards somewhat shabby hole-in-the-wall kinds of places, i.e. nowhere you'd go to meet women or order drinks with mixers that don't come out of a gun.
posted by Banky_Edwards at 10:16 AM on June 17, 2010

As far as bars I love the Long Room at Irving Park and Ashland it's dimmly lit and has a great beer selection. I also enjoy Goldies which is at Lincoln and Bernice and is tiny and has $1 PBR pints
posted by Uncle at 11:10 AM on June 17, 2010

Best answer: My tastes run towards somewhat shabby hole-in-the-wall kinds of places, i.e. nowhere you'd go to meet women or order drinks with mixers that don't come out of a gun.

You might want to drop in the L&L Tavern, then, before or after the game. It is at Clark and Belmont, just east of where the Red Line drops you off at the Belmont stop. Do not know if the character of the place has changed much since I lived there, but it sounds right up your alley. If you are taking the Red Line to or from the game it really could not be more convenient.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:31 AM on June 17, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks guys - I've added those bars to my Things To See list!
posted by Banky_Edwards at 1:47 PM on June 17, 2010

The Map Room has my favorite beer selections, though you'll need to get off the train at Armitage and grab a Westbound bus to get there.
posted by Wulfhere at 5:17 PM on June 17, 2010

You'll have no trouble finding tickets.

As for holes in the wall to hang out at while you're in Chicago, definitely check out Moody's Pub. Good burgers, amazing beer garden.
posted by me3dia at 6:57 PM on June 17, 2010

Seconding Moodys.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:57 PM on June 17, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks again for all the info! I put a ton of this advice to work - rolled up to the game in the second inning, got a ticket for half of face value, went down to the L&L where they were watching Jeopardy like we do in my dive back home, and everyone got a free drink for getting Final Jeopardy correct - the answer was "Wrigley Field." Also managed to hit Moody's this afternoon - fantastic burger indeed. Chicago is, officially, my kinda town.
posted by Banky_Edwards at 9:13 PM on June 20, 2010

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