Last Updated on January 1, 2024

Chicago sports fans guide to the attractions and events

Chicago has a rich sporting history and is a city that has plenty to offer you as a visitor if you are a sports fanatic.

There are numerous sports attractions, live sporting events, and iconic sporting monuments that make this an excellent city to visit as a sports lover. Here are the best sporting attractions and landmarks in the city.

7 Must-Visit Sporting Attractions & Landmarks in Chicago

1. Wrigley Field (Home of the Chicago Cubs)

  • Historic baseball stadium with a vibrant atmosphere and unique traditions.
  • Experience a guided tour showcasing the stadium’s history and behind-the-scenes areas.

2. Guaranteed Rate Field (Home of the Chicago White Sox)

  • Modern ballpark offering an immersive fan experience.
  • Stadium tours provide insights into the team’s history and facilities.

3. United Center (Home to the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks)

  • A hub for both NBA and NHL action.
  • Offers tours exploring the rich history and championships won by the Bulls and Blackhawks.

4. Soldier Field (Home of the Chicago Bears)

  • Iconic NFL stadium situated along Lake Michigan.
  • Game days here are an experience, and stadium tours showcase its history and architecture.

5. Chicago Sports Museum

  • Chicago Sports Museum is a thrilling homage to the city’s rich athletic history, nestled within the iconic Water Tower Place on Michigan Avenue.
  • The museum holds a diverse collection of artifacts, memorabilia, and exhibits celebrating the triumphs and tales of Chicago’s sports legacy. From Michael Jordan’s iconic jersey to historic Cubs and White Sox memorabilia, the museum encapsulates the essence of Chicago’s sports culture across various disciplines.

6. Chicago Lakefront Trail

  • Not a single venue but a scenic trail along Lake Michigan connecting several sports landmarks.
  • Ideal for runners, cyclists, and walkers passing by Soldier Field, the museums, and other iconic spots.
  • If you are new to Chicago, joining one of the lakefront bike tours can be a great experience and a way to see the area.

7. The Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame

  • The Chicgaoland Sports Hall of Fame honors significant contributors to Chicago’s sports legacy, including athletes, coaches, and administrators.
  • Showcases achievements and memorabilia, celebrating the city’s sports heritage.

Live Sports Opportunities

Chicago baseball game

1. Chicago Fire Soccer

Chicago Fire FC are the local MLS (Major League Soccer) team and they play their home games at Soldier Field.

You can normally find tickets available for home matches so it’s a great opportunity to see a live match in Chicago if you are visiting the city.

2. Chicago Bears NFL

Regular season games of the Chicago Bears take place at Soldier Field, creating an electrifying atmosphere during the NFL season.

Tickets can be hard to get although you can normally buy tickets outside of the ground on game day.

if you are new to American Football, make sure to go to the game an hour or two early and enjoy what is known as Tailgating.

Tailgating is the pre-game event that takes place in the car park with many people doing BBQs, eating and drinking, and having a get-together before the game.

3. Chicago Cubs and White Sox MLB

If you have an interest in baseball, why not attend and enjoy a Major League Baseball game by watching the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, or the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Tickets tend to be fairly easy to get for the main league games as there are so many games in the season. So you will usually find availability.

When the playoffs come though, tickets can be more difficult to acquire.

4. Chicago Blackhawks NHL

Catch the Chicago Blackhawks playing ice hockey at the United Center during the NHL (National Hockey League) season.

5. Chicago Bulls NBA

The NBA season brings the Chicago Bulls to the United Center, offering basketball enthusiasts a chance to witness thrilling games.

6. Chicago Red Stars NWSL

If you are a women’s soccer fan, you can watch the Chicago Red Stars play at SeatGeek Stadium during the National Women’s Soccer League season.

Annual Sporting Events in Chicago

1. Chicago Marathon

Held annually in October, it’s one of the major marathons in the world, attracting thousands of runners from around the globe.

Learn more about the marathon here.

2. NASCAR Chicago Street Race

If you are into motor racing and considering visiting Chicago, this is a wonderful opportunity to see a NASCAR race.

More on NASCAR Chicago

3. Windy City Open

An annual squash tournament featuring world-class players held in Chicago, attracting squash enthusiasts.

4. Chicago Golf Classic

Various professional golf tournaments, exhibitions, and amateur events happen throughout the year in and around Chicago.

5. Chicago Sports Card & Memorabilia Show

  • A recurring event bringing together collectors, dealers, and enthusiasts of sports cards and memorabilia.
  • Offers a chance to buy, sell, and trade sports-related collectibles.

6. Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle (8k run)

A popular annual 8K run in March, kicking off the running season in Chicago and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

7. Chicago Marathon Inline Skating

Alongside the Chicago Marathon, there’s an inline skating event where participants skate the marathon route.

8. Bank of America Chicago Spring Half Marathon

A springtime half-marathon event attracting runners to enjoy Chicago’s scenic routes.

Sports Monuments, Murals, and Statues to See in Chicago

1. Chicago Sports History Mural (Wrigleyville)

Located in the Wrigleyville neighborhood, this mural celebrates Chicago’s sports history, including iconic athletes and moments from various sports.

2. Chicago Blackhawks’ Championship Sculpture (Near the United Center)

  • Commemorates the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup victories with a monumental sculpture.
  • An emblem of the team’s success and contribution to Chicago’s sports legacy.

3. The 1908 Championship Plaque (Wrigley Field)

  • Marks the Cubs’ historic 1908 World Series victory.
  • Offers fans a chance to connect with the team’s rich history and success.

4. Michael Jordan Statue (United Center)

  • Commemorates the legendary career of Michael Jordan, a must-visit for basketball fans.
  • Represents a symbol of Chicago’s basketball legacy.

5. Chicago Bulls’ Legacy Walk (Outside the United Center)

  • Features plaques and statues commemorating key moments and players in Bulls history.
  • Offers a self-guided tour to appreciate the team’s legacy.

Accommodation and Where to Stay

There are numerous options for all budgets so the choice depends on your specific needs.

 

Traveling around the world to watch & experience sports, I tend to always use the same resources for booking trips. These are the ones I use most frequently and that I find to have great customer support and competitive prices.

  • Flights – are also now offered by booking.com and as I love the brand this is my first port of call now for flights.
  • Booking.com – The best site I have found for hotel and accommodation bookings.
  • Safety Wing Travel Insurance – I love Saftey Wing as they cover everything I need to be covered and they have a simple-to-use site, and again, I have found their customer service very good, when I needed to ask questions.
  • Get Your Guide – is an excellent site as a one-stop shop for booking attractions, local tours, activities, and excursions. Great customer service and an easy-to-use site.
  • Hostelworld – Book backpacker hostel rooms around the world with Hostel World.
  • Sports Event Tickets – Tickets for all sporting events