When the mercury drops and you can feel the chill in the air, it’s officially hockey season in Chicago. And with the regular season schedule starting to wind down, anticipation of playoff season heats up! It’s been a crucial part of the city’s fabric for over a century and Lord Stanley’s Cup has been a regular feature of the city’s landscape as the Chicago Blackhawks have taken it home three times over the past eight years.
Early Hockey History
It’s worth stepping back to think about some of the teams that have called the area home over the years, as a number of them have quite colorful histories. One of the most intriguing teams were the Chicago Shamrocks, who played here from 1930 to 1932. The name was a reference to Chicago’s Irish-American population and for a time, they were considered a competitor to the National Hockey League’s own Blackhawks.
A Hockey Town with Two Teams
Today, visitors flock to see the Chicago Blackhawks play at the United Center. The great thing about attending a game here at the UC is that you can also stop by the famed Billy Goat restaurant for one of their famous “cheezborgers” and a drink of your choosing.
You can take the #19 United Express or #20 Madison CTA bus quickly from the Loop out to United Center so you don’t have to worry about parking. Arrive early to walk around the stadium grounds to find the life-sized statues of legendary Hawks players Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita.
Also, don’t forget about the Wolves. Many visitors also elect to head out to nearby Rosemont to catch the American Hockey League's own Chicago Wolves at the Allstate Arena. While the mood is quite different at each venue, either one provides a great night out of sports entertainment for families, friends, or company outings. The Wolves have never had a losing season, so you’ll know that you’ll be in store for some fine minor league hockey. Ticket prices start at a budget-friendly $11, with different promotions and specials available online.
I is for Ice Hockey is part of an ongoing series exploring Chicago from A to Z, highlighting a unique Chicago place and theme for each letter of the alphabet. Stay tuned for more entries!