Chicago is one of the most iconic cities in the U.S. for sports fans. Chicago has more legendary teams than practically any other city in the country. It is home to the beloved Chicago Cubs, the classic Chicago Bulls of Michael Jordan fame, and the talented Chicago Blackhawks (among several others).
Sports enthusiasts looking to explore the Windy City’s athletic side? Check out this brief guide to Chicago for sports fans. In alphabetical order:
The legendary NFL team of the Chicago area. This team is perhaps best known to outsiders for the Mike Ditka-inspired epithet—“Da Bears”. They’ve only won the Super Bowl once (in 1985), but have the most players in the Hall of Fame.
Founded nearly 100 years ago downstate in Decatur, Illinois, the Bears play in Soldier Field in downtown Chicago. Soldier Field is a good spot for visitors to explore, with its convenient location near to the Museum Campus area. It is home to Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, and Adler Planetarium.
The Chicago Blackhawks are one of the “Original Six” teams in the NHL and they attract fans from all across the Midwest. They’ve also recently been one of the best teams in the entire league, winning three Stanley Cup Championships in the last ten years.
The Blackhawks play in the United Center, a venue they share with the Chicago Bulls. The United Center is an easy cab ride of the trendy West Loop neighborhood. Union Park is home to popular concerts like the annual Pitchfork Music Festival, and the broader West Loop area is filled with chic restaurants and bars.
The Chicago Bulls are among the most famous NBA teams in the country, having been the team of Michael Jordan’s unparalleled title-winning years in the 1990s. They won six NBA Championships with Jordan at the helm, but have been flagging somewhat in the years since.
They do, however, maintain a strong fan base in spite of never quite reaching the heights of the Jordan years and you’ll find Bulls merchandise throughout the city. Like the Blackhawks, they play in the United Center in a very up-and-coming neighborhood.
The Cubs are perhaps the most recognized Chicago sports team throughout the world. One of two MLB teams in Chicago, the Cubs play in the National League. In 2016 they won the World Series, breaking the infamous 108-year title drought.
Wrigley Field is the second-oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball and is one of the most famous sporting venues in the world. Wrigleyville, the area around the park, has been highly developed and has an enviable selection of restaurants and bars. Take a bus tour of the North Side to see Wrigley Field for yourself, or catch an afternoon game. Check out our guide to getting cheap Cubs tickets to catch a game while you’re in town.
The city’s Major League Soccer’s newest sports franchise founded in Chicago is the Chicago Fire Soccer Club. They are notable for having won MLS and the US Open Cup in their first year as a team, in 1998.
The Fire currently plays south of the city in Bridgeview, Illinois, but they soon intend to relocate the team to a spot in downtown Chicago. They boast a roster filled with players of international renown, including World Cup champion and Bundesliga legend Bastian Schweinsteiger and the Argentine National Team and former Atletico Madrid midfielder Nico Gaitán.
Chicago White Sox
The second baseball team in Chicago, the White Sox play in the American League of Major League Baseball. They’ve won the World Series three times, most recently in 2005. They have also won several Central Division titles in recent years.
Their current ballpark—known as Guaranteed Rate Field—replaced the historic Comiskey Park, and is in an area with little else to explore. It’s quite far south of the city center, and usually isn’t included on many tours.
Explore Chicago for Sports Fans
If you want to see more of Chicago and Chicago sports, pick up a Go Chicago pass. You’ll learn more about Chicago’s storied sports scene at museums, on tours, and out in the streets.
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