Whether your passion is watching basketball, tailgating before a football game, or singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” with tens of thousands of your closest friends, the Chicagoland area is sure to have something for you. Here in Chicagoland, we’re known around the world for our commitment to our local sports teams, a sprawling roster that includes historic dynasties, college programs, and everything in between.
Does your dream home put you in walking distance of a ballpark or basketball arena? Want to live in a neighborhood where you can catch a game seven nights a week? From the city to the suburbs, here are six Chicagoland communities perfect for sports fans:
Home to the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field is one of the most iconic ballparks in the world. There are songs about it, comedy sketches about it, even urban legends about it. But if you want to live in the same neighborhood as the world-famous “Friendly Confines,” you’ve got to look into Lakeview.
One of Chicago’s most historic and eclectic neighborhoods, Lakeview has been home to Wrigley Field since the stadium was originally built more than a century ago. Today, the area immediately around the field has come to be known as Wrigleyville, thanks to its abundance of sports bars, memorabilia shops, and energizing love for all things Cubbies.
Beyond the iconic moss of Wrigley Field, Lakeview is known as one of Chicagoland’s favorite destinations for entertainment and leisure, boasting a variety of restaurants, theaters, shops, and parks.
Just a short drive southwest of Chicago, Joliet is one of the largest cities in Illinois — and it has an active and exciting sports scene to match!
Spanning both Will County and Kendall County, Joliet is home to some unique attractions, which draw sports fans from all across Chicagoland and from all over the country. For starters, Joliet is the site of Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway, a sprawling motorsports complex that hosts more than 100 events each year — including races in all three NASCAR national series, which pull in visitors and television audiences from every corner of the globe. The complex is also home to a .25-mile drag strip and a .5-mile dirt oval track, perfect for all sorts of high-energy racing.
For baseball fans, Joliet is also home to one of the region’s most famous minor league teams, the Joliet Slammers. Named for the historic prison facility that still draws countless tourists to Joliet, the Slammers play as part of the Frontier League, drawing crowds to DuPage Medical Group Field all season long.
Chicago’s South Loop has a long, rich history. Throughout the decades, this ever-changing area has served as one of the city’s biggest districts for transit, commerce, and all things sports. Today, the South Loop is considered one of the city’s hottest neighborhoods, thanks in part to its high level of development, and its prime location near some of Chicago’s favorite attractions.
For football fans, the South Loop is home to the legendary Soldier Field, home turf for the world-famous Chicago Bears. On game days, Soldier Field comes alive with tailgates, TV cameras, and tons of fans dressed in their blue and orange best. Starting in 2020, Soldier Field will also become the home of Chicago Fire FC, the city’s popular professional soccer team.
For basketball lovers, the South Loop is also home to Wintrust Arena, where fans can watch the talented Chicago Sky WNBA team take to the court. Wintrust Arena is also the home base for DePaul University’s basketball programs.
Finally, if baseball is your game, the South Loop is just a short trip away from Guaranteed Rate Field, home to the beloved Chicago White Sox and an amazing venue for seeing America’s pastime live and in person.
The West Loop is one of Chicago’s best neighborhoods for serious fans of basketball and hockey. This bustling, vibrant neighborhood — conveniently located just west of downtown — is home to the United Center, the professional stadium for both the legendary Chicago Bulls basketball team and the dominant Chicago Blackhawks hockey team.
Originally conceived in the 1980s, the United Center is one of the crown jewels of Chicagoland’s sports scene; it’s one of the largest arenas in the entire country, and hosts more than 200 events each year — including all of the home games for Chicago’s professional NBA and NHL teams, as well as special events like the NBA All Star Game and the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Beyond the United Center, the West Loop puts sports fans close to the action at UIC Pavilion, which is home to UIC Flames basketball games, as well as roller derby events hosted by the nonprofit, high-octane Windy City Rollers league. The West Loop is also one of Chicago’s best neighborhoods for dining and nightlife, making it the perfect spot for grabbing a bite or a drink before the big game.
Located just south of the Loop, these communities provide easy access to Guaranteed Rate Field, the home of the Chicago White Sox baseball team. Prior to that, Bridgeport was home to Comiskey Park, the world-famous stadium that housed the Sox for nearly a century.
With such close ties to one of Major League Baseball’s oldest teams, it’s no surprise that these neighborhoods are positively bursting with local history and charm. On game days, businesses in Bridgeport and Armour Square open their doors to welcome visitors from all over Chicagoland. And throughout the year, the area offers plenty of great things to see, do, and experience, from eclectic art galleries to historic taverns and restaurants.
Conveniently located near O’Hare International Airport and just a short train ride away from the heart of Chicago, the edge city village of Rosemont is one of Chicagoland’s favorite entertainment destinations. This active area is full of fun things to see and do, and is home to some of Chicagoland’s most interesting sports teams and events.
One of the most successful teams in minor league hockey, the Chicago Wolves play in Rosemont’s Allstate Arena throughout the year. Outside of ice hockey, this popular indoor arena is also home to a number of fun one-off sporting events, including Harlem Globetrotters basketball games, Professional Bull Riders (PBR) invitationals, WWE wrestling shows, and monster truck races.
At nearby Impact Field, the Chicago Dogs play high energy baseball as one of the newest members of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. Named for one of our area’s most iconic foods, the Dogs organization strives to create an atmosphere that is fun, rewarding, and family-friendly.
Looking to Live In the Heart of It All?
Looking to find a home in one of Chicagoland’s most sporting communities? We get you. At Baird & Warner, our agents are hyperlocal experts who can help you find the spot that’s just right, while making the buying process easier, at every step of the way. And with mortgage and title services in-house, our one-stop-shopping approach takes the hassle out of closing on your new home, so you can get back to the seventh inning stretch in no time.