Ticketless tailgaters curbed at Chicago Bears games
Those fans will have to leave parking lots from kickoff to final whistle
By Jason Meisner | Chicago Tribune reporter
10:15 PM CDT, August 6, 2008
Bears fans tailgating outside Soldier Field without a ticket to the game will have to leave the parking lots surrounding the stadium at kickoff as part of a new effort to tackle unruly behavior.
But Soldier Field officials said fans shouldn't be crying in their beers—those without tickets will still be able to party in the parking lots for up to four hours before game time—and return once the final whistle blows.
"Tailgating is not ending," said Luca Serra, a spokesman for Soldier Field. "It's part of the [game] experience for people to come and tailgate. But it's also something that was meant for people who have tickets to the game."
Serra said he expects some fans will be angry but added that the new measure "doesn't affect a huge number of people."
Fans will be able to contact security by calling 312-235-7999 or texting 312-909-HELP (4357) anonymously to report abusive or foul language, overly intoxicated fans, smoking, harassment or other disruptive behavior.
Once the game starts Thursday night, Serra said, security will ask anyone without a ticket to leave the parking lot area. He said the policy could be enforced by arrest if someone refuses to leave or gets belligerent.
The policy affects the north and south lots, the Waldron parking deck, the Adler Planetarium lot and East Museum lot, he said.