The city of Chicago will celebrate the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup championship with a parade Thursday followed by a rally at Soldier Field.The parade will step off at 10 a.m. at Monroe and Jefferson streets. The parade will go east on Monroe to Michigan Avenue, the mayor’s office announced Tuesday afternoon.
The motorcade will arrive at Soldier Field about 11 a.m. The rally at Soldier Field will be a free, ticketed event. Tickets will be available at www.Ticketmaster.com at noon Wednesday on a first come, first served basis. Individuals can receive four tickets each, and the tickets will be emailed to print at home. Parking lots open at 5 a.m., and those with tickets may enter starting at 8 a.m. Coolers and strollers aren’t allowed at the rally, and tailgating is prohibited.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel was at the United Center for the Game 6 clincher, seated near the corner right behind the glass. He stayed late to watch the Hawks parade around the ice with the Stanley Cup and take in every minute of the delirious celebration.
On Tuesday, the bleary-eyed mayor joked about needing “nap time” because he was up so late celebrating the Hawks’ extraordinary achievement.
“We’re gonna have a parade worthy of a dynasty in the city of Chicago. To be able to win three times in six years is a testament. It’s a testament to all the players and the culture — from Rocky Wirtz all the way down to all the players on the team,” Emanuel said.
“This is a tremendous victory for the team, for the coach,” he said. “It’s a tremendous victory in the sense that they were able to secure the Stanley Cup at home in Chicago for the first time since 1938. It meant as much for the players to win for their fans as it meant for the fans to be able to see it here in the city.”
Metra will offer a special one-day-only $5 unlimited ride ticket to accommodate fans heading downtown for the celebration.
The special ticket will be available from all ticket agents, Metra said. It can be combined with Metra’s “Family Fares” program, which allows three children age 11 or younger to ride free with each fare-paying adult.
Anyone planning to take Metra to the parade and rally is highly encouraged to buy a fare ticket in advance, the rail agency said.
More than 425,000 took Metra trains the day of the Blackhawks rally after their 2013 Stanley Cup victory — the second-highest daily total in Metra’s history, and about 46 percent higher than a typical Friday in June.
Metra will be adding “as many trains as possible” and expanding capacity to accommodate the crowds. Passengers should check Metra’s website beginning Wednesday morning for more details.
Heavy passenger loading could delay trains Thursday by 10 minutes, and bicycles and alcohol will be banned from all trains all day. Quiet car rules also will be suspended.
If you drive to the event, the city warns that streets along the parade route could shut down by 9 a.m. and parking garages might be restricted.
Contributing: Fran Spielman, LeeAnn Shelton