Make Your Pricey Game Day Priceless

Do you have one of the town’s hottest tickets?

Not that Oprah’s favorites show where you get free iPods and cashmere underwear. Urban legend says to score a seat you have to either send her 20,000 emails a day or swim across Lake Michigan.

We’re talking the Chicago Blackhawks, who might just bring the first Stanley Cup to Chicago in nearly 50 years. Here’s a few helpful tips to better execute your pricey game day experience at the United Center, so you can create priceless memories for your whole family, including the youngest toddlers and the bill paying adults.

Avoid the Piggyback Ride Across West Madison: Even with premium parking costing between $25 and $30, the close lots often fill up. Avoid traffic and the hassle of walking from an off-site lot by taking the Metra. On weekends, up to 3 kids under the age of 11 ride free with a full paying adult. Hop a cab or the #20 bus straight to the UC.

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words, or at Least a $17 Foam Finger: Photos don’t cost anything, and seeing the result on a digital camera provides the same instant gratification factor as a crappy souvenir. Don’t miss out on snapping the potential holiday card photo in front of the famed Michael Jordan statue. Yes, it’s basketball, but it’s a Chicago landmark.

Beware of the Soda: The mark-up on soda at a sporting event makes living east of Sheridan Road seem like a small surtax. Water fountains are located on the 100 and 300 levels by the entrance/exit of each restroom.

Don’t Ignore the Freebies: Get in your seats early so you don’t miss the amazing introductions complete with pyrotechnics and mind-blowing video graphics. Plus, Blackhawks Alumni sign autographs during intermissions, and the team’s mascot Tommy Hawk, cruises the stands and concourses, looking to interact with young fans.

Don’t Buy Your Toddler a Seat: Children under 36” do not require a ticket.

Or, Try More Affordable Alternatives, such as The Chicago Wolves (Allstate Arena): The Chicago Wolves work hard to put a good hockey team on the ice and provide a fun family experience at the Allstate Arena. Their Kids Zone offers a Slapshot Cage and Check-it, a game that encourages hitting. Tickets in the family section, yes, that means no alcohol, are only $10.

When the Wolves clear out, the Chicago Sky, our town’s WNBA franchise, take the court. Pre-season games begin April 30th. And don’t forget–arena football is back! The Chicago Rush open their season in April.

Convinced the Ladies Have Game? Watch the Windy City Rollers: Fast paced action, even checking, from the girls on wheels provides fun for the whole family. Read about the North Shore girls who skate for the Windy City Rollers or catch them in action.

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