If you are a Chicago native or resident, you’re likely a fan of one or two teams. You’re either a White Sox fan or a Cubs fan. While both teams are deserving of patronage locally, we’d have to admit that the Cubs have the upper hand because they play their games at Wrigley Field. Wrigley is one of the most iconic ballparks in all of the US. This is something that all baseball fans could appreciate regardless of their home team. That said, you better be prepared to watch the Cubs play at Wrigley Field because it will put a hole in your pocket, especially if you want the most deluxe experience.
A Typical Game Day
Game day is always exciting. You’re prepared for it. You’ve gotten your tickets and your apparel. You’re ready to hype it up along with over 42,000 other fans that would be sitting at Wrigley Field with you. But before you go to the game, you’ve got to park your car first and of course, do some awesome tailgating. You won’t get the full sense of the experience if you skip this part. Once the gates are open for admission, that’s when you can actually head to the ballpark to find your seats.
The whole experience starts with the ticketing experience. The best seats will cost you a lot more money, of course, but truly there aren’t any bad seats in the Wrigley house. A lot of games at Wrigley Field tend to sell out as well, so make sure that you buy your tickets early if you’re interested in a game. The cheapest seats will cost you about $14 for teams that aren’t as in demand. Other teams would cost $25 for the cheapest tickets. The most expensive tickets could run you about $215 or even more. For the sake of our purpose here, we’ll spend $70 on good right outfield seats.
Whether you’re keeping it simple or throwing a big shindig, tailgating is always a good time. The best part about tailgating is that you can always minimize expenses by reminding everyone to bring their own beverage and a snack at least. If you’re keeping it simple with a small group of maybe three other friends, a $100 budget for tailgate food and drinks should be sufficient enough. If you divide that between four people, the expense boils down to only $25 per person for a good pregame experience.
Food and Drinks
Once you’re in the game, you’re going to want to eat and drink some more. Average baseball games today can last up to three hours. That’s a long time of just sitting around if you don’t have a drink in hand or a hotdog in the other. Thankfully, there are plenty of concession offers at the Wrigley Field; you are in Chicago after all. So you can expect to have pizza and Italian beef if you want them. Chicago dogs are always best sellers at the concessions, but you do have options for other healthier options as well. We recommend a good Giordano’s pizza to start it all off before you get your fill of hotdogs and beer. It’s always good to get an Italian beef sandwich to go after the game just because they’re so good. All in all, if you’re planning to spend money on concession food at Wrigley Field, you can set aside $15 for a beer and a hotdog. We know you’ll want more than just that, so you should probably budget another $15 just in case.
Paraphernalia or Souvenirs
This is an absolute extra, of course. But what’s game day without some paraphernalia? The great part about this is it could be a one-time purchase as long as you take care of your stuff. You could get a ball cap for $20 at the Wrigley Field shop, and that’s a hat that you can wear to every game. It’s up to you if you want to spend more on paraphernalia, but we’re going to keep our expenses to a minimum and stick with just the cap.
Parking and Total Costs
Unfortunately, parking costs a lot of money at Wrigley Field. You can pay an average of $30 to $50 for an event. If we say that you have to pay $40 for parking and split that between four people, it will cost you $10 to park. It’s always better to carpool to save money. It’s also better for the environment. It’s also a good way to have a designated drive if you and your friends are drinking.
Either way, with all the costs mentioned above, you could easily surmise that it’s not cheap to watch the Cubs play at home at Wrigley Field. With the cost of tickets, tailgating, food, drinks, paraphernalia, and parking all added up, you’re looking at about $135 per person to spend. That’s a realistic number for average seats and tons of food. Of course, you could always strip it all down to the basics. If you opt for the cheapest comparable seats, eliminate tailgating altogether, minimize concession food and drinks, and eliminate the paraphernalia cost, you’re only looking at roughly $50 for the day. That’s a better number if you ask us, but you never know what could happen at a ballgame. A homerun might just inspire you to buy a round of drinks for your row. Either way, you can spend $150 or $50; it doesn’t matter. What matters is your team and your company are all together in one place having a good time.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker