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For over 93 seasons the Chicago Cubs have been playing baseball at Wrigley Field. And for over 93 seasons the Cubbie faithful have been filling the seats. That’s 41,118 seats to be exact. Now the diehard fan might tell you that there’s not a bad one in the house. Certainly, his sentiment stems from fond thoughts of ivy-covered walls, manual scoreboards, white flags with blue W’s and day games in July. Wrigley Field is undoubtly a great place to catch a ballgame. But realistically, Wrigley’s old-timey charm brings with it some old-timey inconveniences; namely, columns and overhangs.
Before the the advent of cantilevered decks, the upper levels of stadiums had to be reinforced by large, vertical support columns. Unfortunately, these columns can obstruct the views of those seated in the deck below. This is the case with Wrigley Field. Another key architectural aspect of Wrigley is that the upper deck significantly overhangs the lower deck. While this feature can benefit patrons by sheltering them from the rain and summer sun, it also blocks sightlines of the sky, scoreboard and fly balls for those in the back rows of the lower deck.
When buying tickets, Wrigley can be a tricky ballpark to figure out. Even official seating charts (http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/chc/ballpark/seating.jsp) fail to convey the vertical elements of the stadium. And if you noticed the ticket prices on the link above, it sure is nice to buy with confidence.
So, without further ado, a section-by-section guide to the seats of Wrigley Field.*
- Within each level, section numbering begins with the section furthest from home plate down the third base line and counts upward. For example, section 101 is at the left field foul pole, 121 is behind home plate and 142 is at the right field foul pole.
- An aisle generally splits a section into two parts. Seats on the right** side of the aisle begin with the number 1, while seats on the left side of the aisle begin with the number 101. Thus, seats with higher numbers, such as 15 and 115, are toward the middle of the row.
- The first row in each level is labeled row 1 (except for Dugout and BullPen Box, which start with row A).
- Bleacher seats are accessed through a separate entrance, and do not connect to the main concourses of the stadium.
Dugout & Bullpen Box: This level is comprised of the three rows nearest the infield, labeled A, B and C. It is not covered by the upper deck. As Mr. Bueller would say, “It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.”
Club Box (Sect. 4-38 ): On the infield, this level is directly behind the Dugout and Bullpen Box level. On the outfield, this level provides the closest seats down the first and third base lines. It is not covered by the upper deck. These too are excellent seats.
Field Box (Sect. 101-142): This level is separated from the Club Box level by a pedestrian walkway. This walkway leads to the concourses, which host the concession stands and bathrooms. If you are in the lower rows (roughly 1-5) of these sections, you may have to contend with frequent foot traffic crossing in front of you. A minor qualm, for sure, but perhaps annoying for the more particular baseball fan. Also be aware that a portion of section 101 is designated as a “no alcohol” zone. The Field Box level is not covered by the upper deck. On the whole, great seats.
Terrace Box & Reserved (Sect. 201-242): This level is separated from the Field Box level by a second pedestrian walkway. The first row is slightly elevated, however, so foot traffic is not an issue. This level is covered by the awning of the upper deck (except portions of 202-204, 237-240, and all of sections 201 and 242).
Rows 1-7 are considered Box, and rows 8+ are considered Reserved (all rows are considered Reserved in 201-204 and 237-242). The columns supporting the upper deck are usually found in row 6, and are often located on the aisles. Thus, purchasing seats in row 7 or higher can be a gamble. To better your odds, look for seats toward the middle of the row (high seat numbers like 15 or 115) in sections 219-231. Avoid aisle seats (like 1, 2, 101 and 102) in these sections. Nice views from the outfield can be found in sections 201 and 242. Notice of obstructed views will be printed on the tickets for some of the worst seats.
A complete list of column locations can be found at the end of this article.
Additionally, sightlines from rows 16 and higher (19 and higher in the sections behind home plate) will suffer from the upper deck overhang. Views of the sky, scoreboard and fly balls will likely be obstructed. Small TV monitors and digital scoreboards are hung in the rafters above in an attempt to compensate.
In summary, the Terrace level offers many great bang-for-your-buck seats, but you have to work a little to find them.
Bleachers & Bleacher Box (Sect. 301-342): The Bleachers offer general admission seating on a first come, first serve basis. The section number on your ticket is irrelevant. [editor's note: The general admission policy does not apply to postseason tickets. Seating assignments are enforced in the Bleachers during the playoffs.] The Bleacher Box sections (316-318 ) offer assigned seating, as is found in the rest of the stadium. The Bleacher level is located behind the outfield wall, offers good views and has a rowdier atmosphere than the rest of the stadium.
Upper Deck Box (Sect. 403-438 ): This is the first level of the upper deck. Due to the overhanging design, the first row of this level is directly above the first row of the Terrace level. Sections 419-422 are directly below the Press Box. Seats in this level are covered by an awning, but views are not obstructed. The Upper Deck Box level offers very good to fair seats, the best being the first few rows along the infield.
Upper Deck Reserved (Sect. 503-538 ): This level is separated from the Upper Deck Box level by a pedestrian walkway. Foot traffic shouldn’t be an issue, however a second set of columns does appear along the walkway. These columns are actually a continuation of those on the lower deck. They are aligned with the aisles (except one column in sections 527 and 528 ) and are just in front of the first row. If you choose to sit in this level, look for seats in the lower rows, toward the middle of the row (high seat numbers like 15 and 115) in sections 509-525 and 529-532. Note that the area directly behind home plate is taken up by the Press Box, so there are no Upper Deck Reserved seats behind the plate. This level is covered by an awning as well, but because of the elevation it does not obstruct sightlines. The Upper Deck Reserved level offers many good seats at low prices, but because of the distance from the field and the chance of column encounters, might be best suited for those feeling a little lucky.
Hopefully this article will help make your next visit to Wrigley Field a great one!
200 Level Column Locations (some may be approx.):
- Sect 202, Row 22, Seat 1
- Sect 204, Row 15, Seat 104
- Sect 205, Row 08, Seat 106
- Sect 206, Row 06, Seat 101
- Sect 208, Row 06, Seat 101
- Sect 209, Row 06, Seat 101
- Sect 211, Row 06, Seat 101
- Sect 213, Row 06, Seat 107
- Sect 215, Row 06, Seat 114
- Sect 215, Row 06, Seat 009
- Sect 216, Row 06, Seat 005
- Sect 218, Row 06, Seat 001
- Sect 219, Row 06, Seat 001
- Sect 220, Row 06, Seat 001
- Sect 222, Row 06, Seat 101
- Sect 223, Row 06, Seat 101
- Sect 224, Row 06, Seat 101
- Sect 226, Row 06, Seat 101
- Sect 228, Row 06, Seat 001
- Sect 229, Row 06, Seat 001
- Sect 231, Row 06, Seat 001
- Sect 233, Row 06, Seat 001
- Sect 235, Row 06, Seat 001
- Sect 236, Row 06, Seat 001
- Sect 237, Row 10, Seat 006
- Sect 239, Row 16, Seat 004
- Sect 240, Row 20, Seat 107/108
Comments, corrections and suggestions are always welcome.
*The Mezzanine Suites and Batter’s Eye will not be discussed here. Chiblogo has made every effort to ensure information in this article is correct at the time of posting and is not liable for any factual errors.
**All directions are from the perspective of someone seated in the stands.