On Wednesday of this week I attended my first Cubs game in the famous bleachers section of Wrigley Field. I had originally purchased a bunch of extra tickets because my cousins were in town, but when they had to leave early, I scrambled to find folks to come with me. I managed to find a couple friends who could come out, and was able to sell the two extra seats I had before the game.
Now, the bleachers has a bit of a reputation as being a crazy, loud, and very drunk collection of baseball rowdies. So, while that isn't typically my sort of crowd* I had been able to buy the tickets on the day they went on sale and I figured even without the cousins here I should try the bleachers out once – just to see what all the hullabaloo was about.
Things didn't start off very well though. By the time we had all arrived at the park** it was already the third inning, and so we trooped into the bleachers entrance***, immediately bought hot dogs, nachos, beer, and peanuts, and tried to find seats.
This was problem number one: the bleachers are general admission – so finding available space for four people together was going to take some engineering. This is partially because all the seats are bleacher seats – so they are benches instead of actual chairs. And naturally the 24” of seat space that the Cubs figure an average person will occuly when they determine seating capacity is nowhere near the amount of space occupied by an actual Chicagoan – as they are generally not only much fatter than that but because we are midwestern we adhere to pretty clearly-delineated rules about personal space. Miraculously however, we scored four seats right on the end of the second row, right between right and center field (see the picture right for the view from our seats).
As you may also observe in the picture, it was very hazy that evening. That was because of problem number two: it was eleventy-billion degrees out with a humidity of infinity. I don't think I've ever been so uncomfortable outdoors in my life. It got to the point where I was so miserable that I actually was pleased to get rained on for a few minutes around the 7th inning. Sadly, the rain didn't help much and didn't last long enough.
Finally, problem number three was that the bleachers are not nearly as fun as advertised. Part of this problem is in how they are overpriced. Tickets to the bleachers cost just as much as the club level seats, but you don't get waiters bringing you food, the beer man never comes, there are no seat backs or cup holders for the beer you do have, and the fascist guards down in front blocked my view of the game and kept telling folks to sit down “during regular play”****. Yes, there was some heckling of players and yes, a Cubs home run ball landed right next to me***** but in general the experience is not worth the money. Thank goodness I had good friends there to keep me more entertained than the game.
Next time, though, I'll take my seats in the Terrace Reserved section. At least then I don't have people telling me to sit down and stop cheering.
* While I am crazy, my loudness level isn't much above the minimum level acceptable.
** About a half-hour into the game, due to various unforseen delays on the parts of all four of us
*** Which is completely seperate from the rest of the ballpark entrances, no doubt to try and keep the rowdies away from all the Lincoln Park Trixies and Chads sitting in the terraces.
**** Apparently, it's a rule.
***** No, I didn't make a play for it. I could hear it hissing as it got close, so I knew it would hurt like heck to try and bare-hand. If I would have brought my glove though, I would perhaps have had a much more fun experience.