$49 for Bears tailgate parking
BY EMILY MORRIS email@example.com July 12, 2012 2:34AM
8-18-06 Soldier Field. Chicago, Illinois. "PARTY FOR $100.00" Chicago Bears fans pay to party at $100.00 dollars a spot to park and party. Photo by Scott Stewart/Sun-Times
Updated: August 13, 2012 2:07PM
For Bears fans looking to guzzle beer and enjoy grilling at tailgates this season, the price to park at some lots is up yet again.
The cost for parking passes at Soldier Field’s North Garage, South Lot, Waldron Deck and Adler Planetarium on Bears game days went from about $46 per game to about $49 per game, excluding service fees, for the 2012 season.
Some of those parking spots were offered in a season package by a lottery process, which ended June 22. But the Bears website reports some “family friendly” parking — that is, not alcohol friendly — was made available at Adler, also for $49 a game for those without season passes. For RVs that can park at Adler, the price went from $120 to $124.
It appears that parking at southwest facilities, which include the 31st Street and McCormick Place lots and do not require coupons, remain the same this season at $25 per game.
The price increase for main lots is mainly due to Chicago’s tax hike for parking lot operators, according to Luca Serra, a spokesman for SMG, which manages Soldier Field.
The Chicago Park District, which owns Soldier Field, approves parking rate increases for Bears games as well as parking throughout the city during the budget planning process.
In December, the city increased the weekday tax rate for parking lot operators, and this year’s Chicago Park District budget allowed operators of both garages and surface lots to increase their customer parking prices.
This certainly isn’t the first time Chicago football fans have had to deal with pricey parking.
It cost approximately $40 for fans to park at the main lots during the 2006 season. For the 2009 season, parking at the three main lots as well as Adler increased from $40 to $46, according to SMG.
Fans will also pay more for their game tickets.
Individual home game tickets for this season go on sale at 11 a.m. Friday. Tickets can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or online at ticketmaster.com.
As a reference point, individual regular season tickets for Bears rival the Green Bay Packers, which are reportedly sold out, usually range from about $72 to $92, while Chicago Bears individual regular season tickets range from about $100 to $175, excluding special club seats, according to information on the teams’ websites.
It costs $40 to park at Green Bay lots, according to service representatives.
New at Soldier Field this year is an expanded family friendly tailgate space and a Dr. Pepper Patio, Serra said.
The Dr. Pepper Patio, currently in development, will offer large-screen TVs, a lounge area and a food and drink menu. It’s set to open at the start of the regular game season in September.
The Bears recently dropped their old sponsor, Coca-Cola, in favor of the 23 flavors and then some of the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group in April.