Soldier Field Releases Details About Crowds, Parking and More For Taylor Swift Chicago Shows

Soldier Field Releases Details About Crowds, Parking and More For Taylor Swift Chicago Shows
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Head’s up, Chicago Swifties: The show you’ve been waiting for is just days away. But you already knew that. What you may not know though, is all the ins and outs of seeing a show at Soldier Field.

“The final countdown to Taylor Swift’s 3-night foray at Soldier Field is finally upon us,” a press release from the stadium said Wednesday. “Taylor Swift will play to sold-out audiences at Soldier Field all three nights (June, 2, 3 & 4),” the release continues, adding that Swift’s “The Eras Tour” is one of the “most anticipated musical events of 2023.”

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In stadiums across the county, those musical events have yet to disappoint fans, despite pouring rain and security snafus. And as more than 60,000 Swift fans descend on Soldier Field each night – not including parents and ride-share drivers dropping off and picking up the thousands of concert goers – here’s how it’s all expected to go down.

Crowds

Each night of Swift’s three-night Soldier Field residency is sold out, the stadium says. According to Soldier Field officials, the stadium currently holds 63,500 people. And though it’s the smallest NFL stadium in the nation, it’s significantly bigger than Chicago’s other large venues.

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For example, Wrigley Field, where Bruce Springsteen, Dead & Company and Fall Out Boy are playing later this summer, has a capacity of 41,649. The United Center, where Aerosmith is set to play in September, holds 23,500.

However you slice it – the show, and the area near the stadium, are expected to be packed.

Traffic

There certainly will be.

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“Guests may experience heavy traffic at certain times,” Soldier Field says. Additionally, several construction projects in and out of Chicago may cause additional backups and delays, including the Kennedy Expressway construction as well as ongoing resurfacing and lane closures along DuSable Lake Shore Drive.

Drop Off and Pick Up

There will be designated drop-off and pick-up locations for parents and chaperones coming to the stadium, Soldier Field notes. Here’s a breakdown:

Those attending the show can be dropped off at the 18th Drive Turnaround, just west of Lake Shore Drive’s 18th Drive exit ramp. However, due to heavy traffic, officials suggest dropping fans off at Columbus Drive or Michigan Avenue and then having them walking to the museum campus.

For pick-up after the show, officials say reunification for parents, guardians and rideshare drivers will take place on Columbus Drive between Roosevelt and Balbo, beginning at 10:30 p.m.

“We encourage parents and chaperones to use this area in order to quickly reunite with family and friends,” Soldier Field’s release states. “Drivers may use the alphabetical signage markers to provide guests with identifiers. Stadium security and parking personnel will be present to provide a safe and organized operation.”

Additionally, stadium security will be onsite to “provide a safe and organized operation.”

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Both Soldier Field and city officials are “strongly” encouraging ticket holders to use public transportation, and to arrive early.

When Do Gates, Parking Lots Open?

Each day of the show, merchandise sales outside the stadium will begin at 12 p.m. in four locations, Soldier Field says. Parking lots open at 2 p.m., and show gates open at 4:30 p.m.

The show is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m., with openers OWEN and Girl in Red Friday and Saturday, and Grace Adams and Muna Sunday.

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According to the stadium, Swift will take the stage around 8 p.m., with a set that lasts for at least three hours.

Parking

If you didn’t already buy a parking spot at Soldier Field for the show, you’re out of luck.

“Parking lots are currently sold out from the advance sales of parking,” Soldier Field says. However, some lots nearby may have spots available.

McCormick Place Lot B, Millennium and South Grant Park garages will be open, with Millennium Park Garage offering a shuttle to and from the stadium. The shuttle will pick up fans at lower Randolph and pick them up at the Metra 18th stairs between 4 p.m. and 1 a.m.

Grant Park South, Grant Park North and Millennium Lakeside Garages won’t be offering shuttle service, however.

What Can You Bring In To Soldier Field?

Soldier Field adheres to the NFL bag policy, which limits the size and type of bags that are allowed into stadiums.

Only bags that are “clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12″ x 6″ x 12,” the NFL says. “No buckles, grommets/hardware or décor can be concealing any part of the bag.”

In other words: The bag must literally be all clear.

Posters will be allowed in, Soldier Field says, but cannot exceed 24 inches x 24 inches.

Don’t Have a Ticket?

Buyer beware, the Better Business Bureau says.

While many tickets offered for sold-out shows like Swift’s may be legitimate, others are not, BBB president and CEO Steve J. Bernas warns.

“One of the first things to do in advance is to be on the lookout for fake websites, tickets, and merchandise,” Bernas says. “You don’t want to show up at the gate after waiting months and paying hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars only to find out your ticket is fake.”

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Make sure you’re buying from a verified seller, and use your credit card for any purchases, as it offers the best fraud protection of any payment method.

“There are countless ways for consumers to find tickets online, with online marketplaces, ticket sellers, resellers, and unfortunately, some are rip-offs,” Bernas adds.

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According to Bernas, buyers should use “extra caution” when buying tickets sold on online marketplace platforms like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

“Buying tickets on these sites from people you do not know is similar to buying tickets in a dark alley,” Bernas said. “Scammers are skilled at providing realistic tickets and fake receipts.”

Additionally, Soldier Field is asking those without tickets to refrain from coming to the stadium.

“People without tickets are strongly discouraged from coming to the Soldier Field campus,” Soldier Field’s release states. “No part of the show will be visible and stadium acoustics do not provide any audible quality outside of it.”

Will Celebrities Will Be There?

While Hollywood stars, athletes and musicians have been spotted at Swift’s previous shows on the tour, it remains to be seen who might make an appearance at the upcoming Chicago shows.

Some good news, though: one who may not be welcome at Soldier Field already took in a show his new home stadium in Foxborough, New Jersey.

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