Ballpark Reviews, Baseball, Travel

Ballpark Review: Wrigley Field Home of Chicago Cubs

The Cards vs. Cubs rivalry is one of the best in baseball! Every game between these teams is always heated, and feels like a playoff game. We loved seeing the Cards play the Cubs in their historic stadium. The fans were surprisingly nice! We took in another game from the bleachers, and it was one of the liveliest games we’ve been to at a visiting stadium.


Wrigley Field is the second oldest ballpark in the MLB (behind only Fenway), which makes it feel like you are watching baseball during the Ruth era. The most prominent features are the iconic red main entrance sign, ivy-covered outfield wall, hand-operated scoreboard, and rooftop seats. Because of its older style designs, there are obstructed views due to pillars/low hanging upper levels, very tight aisles/seats, steep concrete ramps, and limited space for supplemental amenities. There’s a Harry Caray statue in front of Budweiser Bleacher Gate. Four additional statues (Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, and Fergie Jenkins) were added to Gallagher Way.

The stadium is is in the North Side of Chicago so unfortunately you don’t get much of a view of the beautiful Chicago skyline. The rooftop seats are mostly what you see from the stadium.

The stadium includes World Series flags and division standings on flags hovering beside and over the hand-operated scoreboard. Retired numbers are displayed on flags waving from the foul poles. They recently installed some new (and controversial) video screens which block several of the rooftop seats behind them.


Wrigley is in the North Side of Chicago in a primarily residential neighborhood, which seemed safe. The stadium is easy to reach via the CTA Red Line, which stops directly at the Wrigley Field Addison station.

The stadium has its own entertainment area called Wrigleyville, which has many restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. Murphy’s can been seen from the stadium and has a very fun atmosphere. Lucky’s, as seen on Man vs. Food, is also right next to the stadium. Deuce’s was very unique with a pool and lots of cozy spots to sit, including a large glove. The Budweiser Brickhouse is also right behind Gallagher Way.

There are also Wrigley Rooftops, a series of converted apartment rooftops surrounding the park, that you can buy tickets to watch the game without having to go into Wrigley Field. They actually look like they are part of the stadium, but they aren’t! The Cubs have recently installed a controversial Jumbotron, which blocks some of them.


Scott loves Chicago dogs so we had to get one of these. Unfortunately, it was one of the worst ones he’s had.The bun was stale, broke immediately, and got very soggy. They asked if you want onions and they top with grilled onions. They have a condiment stand where you can customize toppings, which included diced onions which is what Scott prefers and thought he was getting. It was extremely difficult to eat. The ones you get at the stands throughout the city are better. 

The garlic fries were smothered in a white sauce (like a béchamel). Scott didn’t think it tasted very garlicky, more like an herby sour cream. He was expecting garlic fries akin to what we got at Safeco Field – a big basket of fries piled high with fresh garlic – so he was disappointed with them. However, this was my favorite food from this visit, although the portion size was pretty small. 

The Northside Twist pretzel, which was about $20, comes in a pizza box and was massive. Once you brush off the excessive salt, the pretzel itself was decent. They ran out of cinnamon dip and gave us mustard and two containers of cold pub-style cheese that was solid and difficult to dip. These were pretty disappointing. 

For drinks, they had a special Cubbie Rita cocktail served in a Cubs souvenir mason jar. They had a few local brews (Goose Island) but mostly Budweiser products (Bud Light). It’s $5 cheaper to buy beer from a can (which they then pour it into a cup). They also had some bourbons, like Maker’s Mark and Jim Beam as well as canned wines. Scott liked the Goose Island 312 wheat beer.


We did not see many extra amenities within the stadium, and may be because of the older design. There’s a Wintrust Jim Beam hang out area on the main level. There are special ticketed areas including the Ideal Suite Level and Maker’s Mark Barrel Room. Wrigleyville, outside the stadium, makes up for not having a lot of adults only options within the stadium.

Since our last visit Gallagher Way was added (opened in 2017). It is an open-air space located adjacent to Wrigley Field on Clark Street where ticket holders can enter before, during, and after the game. It includes a field for tossing around a ball and is currently the only extra amenity we saw that is family friendly. There was a lot of construction going on along the side of the stadium, which looked like some form of supplemental amenities (maybe something for kids).

The main team store was two levels but relatively small and crowded. The Cubs Authentics shop was also very small.


We’ve always really enjoyed the rivalry between Cards and Cubs fans. The Cubs fans were actually extremely nice and energetic. They didn’t haggle us at all, even after they walked it off with a home run off of Scott’s buddy, Trevor Rosenthal.

For our second game against the Diamondbacks, we got seats in the bleachers. There’s a plaque that states “Bleacher fans are the greatest in baseball. Let’s keep it that way.” At Wrigley this is definitely the case. There was a lot of silliness and bantering, which made the bleachers lively the entire game. Fans cheered for “Doug” who was double fisting beers for his family. Fans also liked to taunt the opposing players – one yelled “your pants are too tight.” The two bleacher sides chanted “Right Field Sucks” and “Left Field Sucks” back and forth. 

The Cubs players were extremely generous with throwing balls to fans. The Cubs players even came out of the bullpen to salute the military and tossed out balls afterwards. All the dads yell loud to try to get their kids balls. One in particular was hilariously shouting “hey, we got a first timer!” One fan got “Scotty” (Scott Effross) to autograph her ball by screaming his name loudly. Scott also caught the last ball that was thrown out at the end of the game! We sang along with the fans for Take Me Out to the Ballgame, which sometimes has guest conductors (though it was just a video of Harry Caray when we went). They also have the cap dance, which is one of my favorite baseball traditions on the big screen.

Clark the Cub, the team mascot, comes out frequently into the concourse and on the field. He can be seen hitting balls in the outfield and leads the singing of “Go Cubs Go” and waving of the “W” flag when the Cubs win.

The beer snake was the biggest surprise, and Scott got to anchor it! The Cubs were more than happy to let us help build the snake 🙂

Summary & Scoring

Date Visited:  July 29, 2012; May 22, 2022
Game Played: 
Cubs 4, Cardinals 2 – Rizzo hit a 2-run homer in 10th for a walk-off Cubs victory. Box Score
Cubs 5, Diamondbacks 4 – Come from behind victory with home runs by Wisdom and Schwindel in the 8th. Box Score
Design: 3.8 out of 5 stars – Legendary but aged design with obstructed views and tight aisles
Location: 4.1 out of 5 stars – North Side of Chicago with fun Wrigleyville neighborhood next to stadium
Concessions: 3 out of 5 stars Typical ballpark offerings, featuring the Chicago dog and garlic fries
Amenities: 2.8 out of 5 stars – Not a lot of extras inside the stadium, there didn’t appear to be a kids area. Recently added Gallagher Way provides a much needed hangout area during the game.
Culture: 4.9 out of 5 stars – Cubs fans were extremely friendly and spirited, the bleachers are very lively and probably the most fun we’ve had at a visiting park.
Overall: 3.9 out of 5 stars – Historic ballpark with energetic fans and fun rivalry with the Cards.

Our certificate we got for our first visit to Wrigley!

Cardinals Pictures

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply