Chicago Sporting Events For The Budget-Conscious Parent

White Sox
Some sporting events can be expensive with a family in tow, but the White Sox offer tickets starting at $5 on Sundays. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)
White Sox
Some sporting events can be expensive with a family in tow, but the White Sox offer tickets starting at $5 on Sundays. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

Chicago Sporting Events For The Budget-Conscious Parent

The Chicago Cubs are good, which means they’re expensive. The same could have been said for the Blackhawks and (maybe) the Bulls.

But if you can’t afford to shell out hundreds of dollars for a sports experience — or if you have children who can’t stay up late for night games — WBEZ sports contributor Cheryl Raye-Stout has some wallet- and family-friendly alternatives.

Option 1: The Chicago Sky

WNBA: Women’s Professional Basketball

Season: May through September
Location: Allstate Arena, 6920 Mannheim Rd, Rosemont, Ill.
Price: Tickets start at $11

Raye-Stout: They have three 11:30 a.m. games during the season, and I think that’s a brilliant move for young kids because how many kids can stay awake at 8 or 9 p.m. for a night game? Not many.

Option 2: The White Sox

MLB: Major League Baseball

Season: April through September
Location: Guaranteed Rate Field, 333 W 35th St, Chicago, Ill.
Price: Tickets start at $7 during the week and $5 on Sundays

Raye-Stout: What the White Sox do on Sunday is $5 to $15 for tickets. In the lower level it’s $15 and in the upper level it’s $5 (and) $10 for parking. So you have a really nice, inexpensive date, plus (kids can) get autographs before the game and run the bases after.

Option 3: The Cubs … in South Bend, Indiana

MiLB: Minor League Baseball (Chicago Cubs Class A Affiliate)

Season: April through early September
Location: Four Winds Field, 501 W. South Street, South Bend, Ind.
Price: Tickets start at $11

Raye-Stout: What I’ve noticed — and this has happened every time (the Chicago Cubs) are successful — you see less and less children (at Wrigley Field). When they were not playing well a few years ago, when they had the 100 losses, I would see more kids there. … Right now (the Cubs) are a premium ticket. That always happens when you’re winning, but the Cubs are getting tourists in. … However, if you go to South Bend, that’s where the Cubs A team is, you can go there for a lot cheaper.

Option 4: The Kane County Cougars

MiLB: Minor League Baseball (Arizona D-Backs Class A Affiliate)

Season: April through early September
Location: Northwestern Medicine Field, 34w002 Cherry Lane, Geneva, Ill.
Price: Tickets start at $9 for lawn seats. Up to $15 for box seats.

Raye-Stout: I always tell people with young children, “Go to a minor league team.” And the Kane County Cougars — they probably do better than anybody. …
On Sundays, (kids aged 3-10) eat free, they have autographs before the game, parking is only $5 and they also have a kids zone.

Option 5: The Red Stars

NWSL: Women’s Professional Soccer

Season: April through September
Location: Toyota Park, 7000 Harlem Ave., Bridgeview, Ill.
Price: Tickets start at $20

Raye-Stout: They’re a little bit pricier. Their tickets can be as high as $60. It’s $20 for parking. But they also have experiences for kids — what they call “walk-on experiences” — where they can walk in with the players. They can also be ball kids — getting the balls and retrieving them. So there’s some sort of activities kids can do (for a considerable fee).

Morning Shift listeners called to recommend taking your kids to the Arlington Race Track in Arlington Heights (horse racing), a Chicago Bandits game in Rosemont (women’s professional softball), and the Windy City Rollers in Chicago (women’s roller derby).

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity. Click the ‘play’ button above to hear the entire segment.