Guide to Watching Chicago Blackhawks Games at United Center
Attending a Chicago Blackhawks game at the iconic United Center is an exhilarating experience for any sports fan. Located on the Near West Side of Chicago, the United Center not only promises an intense hockey showdown but also offers a vibrant game-day atmosphere. Whether you're driving in from the suburbs, navigating the city streets, or utilizing Chicago's public transport, we've got the insider's guide to make your Blackhawks experience smooth and enjoyable. So put on your jersey, prep your cheering voice, and let's dive into the ultimate fans' guide to catch the action live at "The Madhouse on Madison."
Driving to the United Center
For those opting to drive, the United Center is conveniently situated near major expressways including the Eisenhower (I-290) and the Kennedy (I-90/94). If you're using a GPS, input the address "1901 West Madison Street, Chicago, IL" and let modern technology guide you to the epicenter of excitement.
From the North:
Take I-90 East to the Madison Street exit and make a right on Madison Street. The arena will be on your left.
From the South:
Take I-55 North to the Damen/Ashland exit and make a left, going northbound for approximately 7 minutes to Madison Street.
From the East:
Take Madison Street west from the Loop.
From the West:
Take I-290 East and exit at Damen Avenue. Take a left on Damen Avenue and then another left on Madison Street.
Parking at the United Center
Upon arrival, you'll find ample parking around the United Center. There are both official lots managed by the arena and private options nearby. The official United Center lots open to the public two hours before each game, and we recommend arriving early to secure a spot as they fill up quickly. Fees vary depending on the event and lot location, but you can expect to spend around $20-$40 for parking. For the utmost convenience, consider pre-purchasing your parking pass through the United Center's website or an app like SpotHero.
Some lots allow tailgating, which is another great way to soak in the pre-game excitement. Ensure you understand the specific lot’s rules and regulations regarding tailgating activities.
Public Transportation to the United Center
For those who prefer to avoid the drive and parking hustle, Chicago's public transportation system, the CTA, offers a stress-free alternative. The United Center is accessible via several bus and train routes, with options varying based on your starting point.
The #19 United Center Express Bus travels to and from the United Center for select events, leaving Michigan Avenue from Randolph Street starting 90 minutes before the event begins. It runs every 10-15 minutes until the start time and resumes after the game, running for 40 minutes.
For daily service, the #20 Madison and #50 Damen buses drop you within a few blocks of the stadium.
The closest CTA train stops are the Ashland/Lake Green and Pink lines, which are about a 6-block walk southeast of the venue. From there, if you prefer not to walk, you can hop on the #9 Ashland bus north to Madison Street.
Alternatively, the Illinois Medical District Blue Line stop is a few blocks south of the United Center, about a 15-minute walk.
- Always check the CTA schedule beforehand as event service can vary.
- If you're new to Chicago public transportation, use apps like Google Maps or the Transit app for live directions and timings.
- Save on fare by purchasing a Ventra card or single-day pass if you plan to take multiple CTA rides.
- Don't forget to enjoy the United Center's incredible food selections, including local Chicago favorites and craft beers.
Whether driving or taking public transit, arriving at the United Center for a Chicago Blackhawks game is part of the fun. With a little planning, you're set for a hassle-free journey to cheer on one of the most storied franchises in NHL history. The only thing left to do is get loud and show your Blackhawks pride!