First built in 1924, Soldier Field has been the home of the NFL's Chicago Bears since the 1970s and has been an iconic fixture along Chicago’s lakefront. While it’s primarily the home of the Chicago Bears, the stadium welcomed the Major League Soccer club Chicago Fire FC to the lakefront. Soldier Field frequently hosts major concerts like The Rolling Stones, Beyonce, Metallica, and more.
While Soldier Field’s history stands out among the NFL’s other stadiums, the place looks anything but historic after its remodeling some 20 years ago. The stadium's unique (and controversial with locals) architectural design combines its historic neoclassical façade and colonnades with a modern “semi-dome” that rests over the older structure.
Nestled between Chicago’s bustling downtown “Loop” and the city’s gorgeous lakefront, Soldier Field’s superb location makes it an incredible place to see a show or game. The expansive greenspace around the stadium also features museums, paths, and parks to enjoy (when the weather cooperates).
If you’re heading to the game from the airport or find yourself with a bag larger than Soldier Field’s bag policy allows (see below), you’ll need a place to stash your belongings while you cheer on the Bears. The best luggage storage service in Chicago is easily Bounce, which has dozens of locations around the city, including near the best attractions like Soldier Field. Don’t get stuck with your bags before the game!
Soldier Field bag policy
All events at Soldier Field don’t allow bags that exceed 4.5" x 6.5" (with or without a handle or strap). The rule of thumb is that anything larger than a clutch bag will not be permitted inside Soldier Field. That includes briefcases, backpacks, and, of course, luggage of any kind.
There are plenty of luggage storage locations available in the area if your bags don’t adhere to the Soldier Field bag policy, especially in the Loop.
Soldier Field food policy
As per the Soldier Field food policy, fans are allowed a single 12"x6"x12" one-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (such as a Ziploc bag) filled with snacks. There are no bottles allowed into the stadium.
These rules do not apply to tailgating, which is a very popular pastime at Soldier Field. While there are rules regarding tailgating in the parking lots, alcohol consumption, grilling, and other activities are allowed (if fans are of legal drinking age).
The concessions on offer at Soldier Field have fallen behind its neighbors, Wrigley Field, Guaranteed Rate Field, and the United Center, all of which have partnered with local businesses to bring authentic flavors to their fans. Still, you’ll find perfectly serviceable stadium food onsite, including limited options for vegetarians. Because of its proximity to downtown Chicago, there are plenty of amazing dining options to try out before heading to Soldier Field.
Soldier Field transportation
Soldier Field is located just south of downtown in the Museum Campus. It’s relatively easy to reach, but you’ll want to plan ahead to make sure you get to your seat in time for kickoff. Here are options to use to get to Soldier Field:
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has a thorough public transportation system consisting of ‘L’ Trains and public buses. Roosevelt Station is located nearby and serves the Red, Orange, and Green lines, with transfers to other routes nearby in the Loop. The station is about a 20-minute walk to Soldier Field. It’s important to note that these trains fill up on gameday, so you’ll want to leave plenty of time to get to the stadium.
If you’re driving into the city, the stadium is conveniently located near highways I-55 and the scenic Lake Shore Drive, but there will be traffic (and lots of it). There are parking lots available near Soldier Field, and the game day tailgating is a fun part of attending a Bears game. It’s advisable to research and arrange parking ahead of time.
Taxis, Ubers, and Lyft
Services like Uber and Lyft are widely available in Chicago and can drop you off near the stadium. Taxis are common in hotspots like the Loop but are harder to plan for. There are designated ride-share pickup and drop-off points as well as a taxi stand, but this can be inconvenient with the larger crowds.
Chicago has a vast network of bike lanes, and bike-sharing programs like Divvy make it easy for short one-way trips. Soldier Field offers bike racks, and the surrounding lakefront is amazing to cycle through during summer and fall.
If you’re staying in a hotel downtown, walking to Soldier Field may be an option, but the walk can be pretty long, and the weather coming from the lakefront can make it uncomfortable. Still, the museum campus is delightful during the summer and absolutely worth exploring.
Soldier Field camera policy
The Soldier Field camera policy is fairly lenient in that cameras and video recorders are allowed in, but the lenses cannot exceed 6" when fully extended. Tripods and other equipment aren’t allowed in the stadium.
Soldier Field rules
Banners, flags, and signs are permitted so long as they do not include offensive language or imagery. This designation is up to the discretion of park officials. Foam fingers and other fun items are allowed, so long as they will not be intrusive to other fans.
There is a box office where Will Call pickups and ticket issues can be worked out with stadium officials. The stadium is open two hours prior to kickoff or the start of a performance. All patrons are required to go through security screening upon entry.
Like other stadiums, Soldier Field’s concessions and merchandise have recently gone completely cashless. Credit cards, mobile payments, and online ordering have all been implemented and must be used according to Soldier Field policies.
Chicago’s Soldier Field is one of the bucket-list sports stadiums to see a game at. If you’re heading into town for a game, the fun doesn’t have to end at the final whistle. Perhaps the weather isn’t cooperating for your concert or game, there’s still plenty to do around Chicago. If you’re spending a weekend in the city around the event, you can fit plenty of bucket-list attractions into a short trip.