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Discover the Best Sports Events and Venues in Illinois
Whether you’re a fan of the Chicago Bulls, Bears, or other sports teams, you’ll find several sports venues and events to attend to show your support. Chicago is home to dozens of stadiums and event venues that host major sports events for the NHL, NFL, MLB, NBA, and MLS. You’ll also find some parks and sports centers in some of the suburbs of Chicago and as you heard further north to destinations like DeKalb.
In Chicago, you’ll find plenty of places to enjoy some basketball games, hockey games, and other sports events. The United Center in downtown Chicago is home of the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks. It’s been the home stadium for both teams since 1994 and continues to be one of the most-visited sports venues in Chicago. The United Center is the largest arena in the NBA. it’s just five miles from Soldier Field and has become an iconic destination for sports fans.
When you’re making your way out to some of the suburbs of Chicago, like Countryside, Oak Forest, and Burbank, you can head to Toyota Park to see the Chicago Fires FC of the MLS in action. Wrigley Field is one of the most well-known destinations in Chicago and is a must-see destination for baseball lovers of all ages.
Baseball is a popular sport in Illinois and Chicago is the home of the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox Major League Baseball teams. The Cubs are the oldest, active professional sports club in the country and have played home games at Wrigley Field since 1916. Make your way to U.S. Cellular Field, one of the biggest ballparks in the region, to watch your favorite pro baseball players.
The Chicago Bears play home games at Soldier Field each fall and the football season runs through early January. The stadium can hold more than 63,000 fans and you’ll find dozens of great restaurants, sports bars, and other event venues nearby.
The cold winters of Chicago can be more tolerable when you have some hockey games to go to. The Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League are part of the Original Six franchise of the NHL and they play at the United Center during the winter months, sharing the arena with the Chicago Bulls. The area accommodates almost 20,000 hockey fans and is located near several sports bars and restaurants for pre- and post-game activities.
If you’re a marathon runner, don’t miss the chance to participate in the Chicago Marathon or other racing events that take place around Chicago and the suburbs. One of the most popular events is the Chicagoland Spring Marathon & Half Marathon in Schaumburg in mid-May. The Illinois Marathon in late April is held in Champaign, a 26.2-mile event that includes a kids’ run. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon that starts and ends in Grant Park is held in October every year and includes a health and fitness expo and post-race party at Butler Field.
No matter what season you’re visiting Illinois, you’ll find a variety of fun sports events and professional teams to cheer on during your visit. From Wrigley Field to the United Center, be sure to add a few legendary sports venues to your itinerary.
Arlington Park Racetrack
Set in Arlington Heights, the Arlington International Racecourse is located in western Chicago near Schaumburg. Owned by Churchill Downs Inc., Arlington Park was first opened in 1927, and famous for hosting the world’s first million-dollar thoroughbred race in 1981. Arlington Racetrack is a premier sports attraction in the area.
Arlington International Racecourse features a flat track, and has hosted other memorable races like the Secretariat Stakes and American Derby. Make the most of your trek through the Chicago area and enjoy some horse racing. Place your bets, or simply enjoy the competition.
The Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet is the largest sporting facility in Illinois, encompassing over 1,300 acres. The complex features its $130 million 1.5-mile, tri-oval superspeedway, 75,000 stadium seats, a 1/4 mile drag strip and a 1/2 mile dirt oval track.
Chicago's auto racing tradition and heritage will continue for generations, as the Speedway hosts several annual NASCAR Series races. Exceptional service and amenities close to the speedway are available with Best Western hotels in the metro Chicago area.