Chicago summers are synonymous with sports—who doesn’t dream of catching a Cubs or Sox game on a sunny afternoon while noshing on hotdogs and pretzels? But it’s not just about the guys here in Chicago. Summer is the perfect time to introduce your kids to the world of female sports, where the games are just as fun and the athletes are just as competitive. And bonus: You just might spy some of these world-class athletes representing the USA in August at the Olympic games!
Playing at the Ballpark at Rosemont, which has a cozy capacity of 2,000 (Wrigley Field holds more than 40,000!), the Chicago Bandits’ season runs May 29-Aug. 14. With last year’s record of 31-17, they are poised to be a winning team again this year. The Bandits, which have been part of the National Pro Fastpitch League since 2005, hosts special promotional nights throughout the season such as Special Olympics Night (June 4), Cancer Awareness Night (Aug. 3) and Fan Appreciation Night (Aug. 5). The best part? The price. Single game tickets start at $7.25 for outfield seats, with an extra $3 discount per ticket for community nights. Even the best seats in the house are only $16.25! If you’ve got an aspiring athlete at home, you might want to consider the Bandits’ “Game Day Experiences,” such as a pregame catch on the field, on-field batting practice, or the chance to be a “Bandit for a Day.”
The Chicago Sky is a professional basketball team playing in the Eastern Conference in the Women’s National Basketball Association. These extraordinary dunkers, who call the Allstate Arena in Rosemont home, play May 14-Sept. 18. The Sky clinched their first playoff in team history in 2013 and their first WNBA Finals appearance in 2014. Kids love the Sky Guy mascot, and kids 12 and under can join the Sky Guy Kid’s Club for free, which comes with a complimentary ticket to the Sky Guy’s Kid Club Night, a membership card, an e-newsletter and a e-birthday card. Single game tickets start at $16 with specials like the “Me& My Kid” package, which has two tickets and two post-game autographs. Tuesdays are a bargain at the concession stand, where a small popcorn, pretzel, soda and sugar cookie are each $2. Unique on-court experiences include taking part in a high-five tunnel, lining up with players during the National Anthem and delivering the game ball to the referee.
As one of nine teams competing in the National Women’s Soccer League, the Chicago Red Stars kick it at their new field, Toyota Park in Bridgeview, April 16-Sept. 24. Check out the baller moves of the Red Stars’ superstars, including members of the World Cup-winning U.S. Women’s National Team, Julie Johnston, Alyssa Naeher and Christen Press. The stadium has a myriad of seating options, including front row seating, a VIP table and fieldside seats, suites, as well as multiple additional levels of grandstand and club seating. Single game tickets start at $20. Look online for special occasions like fan appreciation night with tons of fun and giveaways like autographed soccer balls. Young soccer stars can get in on the action with pregame clinics, and then stick around to see how the pros do it. If last season, where the team placed second in the league, are any indication, the Red Stars are geared up for a spectacular 2016 season, one that shouldn’t be missed.