Shortly after the plan was finalized, the CTA announced changes to its bus and train service to accommodate the Blackhawks parade and rally.
"To accommodate increased crowds, additional service will be provided on all eight rails lines following the morning rush period continuing through midday. In addition, due to street closures, 30 CTA bus routes will be detoured in the downtown area at various times, including the Friday morning rush period," the CTA said in a press release issued Wednesday afternoon.
For more information on all changes to CTA routes and suggested detours, click here.
The Metra will also be offering a special one-day-only $5 unlimited ride pass for fans traveling downtown for the Blackhawks rally. Metra is asking that commuters refrain from bringing bikes or alcohol with them on Friday.
The Chicago White Sox are catching Blackhawks fever as well, offering $15 tickets to Friday's doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians for all fans wearing Blackhawks gear. The first game starts at 4:10 p.m., after the parade and rally, and tickets are only available at the U.S. Cellular Field ticket windows on Friday.
On Wednesday, crews were setting up phone lines at Hutchinson field, site of Friday's 11 a.m. rally in Grant Park. The public can enter the rally from two locations - at Jackson and Michigan or at Congress and Michigan.
People with coolers will be turned away, and large bags and backpacks are strongly discouraged.
"They'll be subject to search at the entry points to the rally and on the street where appropriate," said Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. "This will slow down people getting into the rally, and if you refuse that search, you will be turned away from the rally and not allowed entry."
Similar to the Blackhawks celebration three years ago, Friday's event will begin with a parade starting from the United Center.
The route takes the players east on Washington from Desplaines Street to Wabash before concluding with the Grant Park rally.
The parade is set to step off at 10:30 a.m. Officials recommend fans view the parade either on Washington between Desplaines and Wabash or on Columbus between Monroe and Balbo.
Officials want to keep areas in between where buses are turning as free of spectators as possible.
"In 2010, there were some folks who jumped the barricades in order to get a closer look at the cup or a closer look at the buses," said McCarthy. "Those barricades are there for public safety, and anyone who goes over them will be arrested."
There will be several street closures in the area, so public transit is recommended. The day of the 2010 rally was one of the busiest in Metra's history, so the transit agency this Friday is adding trains and cars as well as offering a $5 round-trip ticket and banning alcohol and bicycles.
"We'd just like them to use common sense and not bring in any large items on the train. It's going to be crowded, and we just ask for their cooperation," said Metra spokesperson Michael Gillis.
Alcohol will be prohibited at Friday's festivities.
"The Chicago Police Department is going to have a zero tolerance for alcohol consumption on the public way during this event," said McCarthy. "It's going to be a family-friendly event, and if you're drinking on the street you will be arrested."
Grant Park will open at 8 a.m. Friday. Officials say the same team that put together its NATO plan will be involved in this event. There will be bomb-sniffing dogs and officers in uniform and plainclothes, but no metal detectors. Officials said Wednesday there were no known threats to the event.
See below for Wednesday's press release from the Mayor's office.
CITY OF CHICAGO ANNOUNCES DETAILS ABOUT BLACKHAWKS PARADE AND
RALLY TO CELEBRATE TEAM'S SECOND STANLEY CUP IN FOUR YEARS
Fans Encouraged to Use Public Transportation;
Backpacks Restricted at Rally; No Coolers Allowed
The City of Chicago will celebrate the 2013 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 28 with a rally in Hutchinson Field in Grant Park following a parade along Washington Street, starting at Des Plaines Street and going to Wabash Street.
"The City of Chicago is so proud of our Blackhawks, and we are looking forward to celebrating their championship with the best fans in the world," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "We also ask fans to enjoy the celebration responsibly by respecting the city and each other."
Fans are encouraged to cheer on the Hawks along the parade route (see below) or gather at Hutchinson Field, located on Columbus Drive between Balbo Avenue and Roosevelt Road, for a celebration with the team and the coveted Stanley Cup trophy.
There will be two public entrances to the rally, located at Jackson and Michigan and Congress and Michigan. To accommodate the anticipated crowds, a jumbotron will be positioned at the side of the stage for enhanced viewing of the program and team, and additional jumbotrons will be set up on Columbus at Balbo and at Congress to accommodate the crowd.
Due to the large crowd anticipated at the festivities on Friday, City officials strongly encourage attendees to use public transportation in lieu of driving. For those who drive to the event, please be advised that the streets along the parade route and in the Loop could be shut down by 8 a.m. and access to many parking garages could be restricted. Additionally, the Chicago Police Department reminds attendees that anyone carrying a backpacks or large bags must undergo additional screening. Coolers are not allowed into the rally and that there will be zero tolerance for drinking alcohol on the public way.
Double-decker buses featuring the team and front office personnel will ride to the rally beginning at approximately 10:30 a.m. from the United Center.
The official parade route will begin at Des Plaines Street and Washington Street and proceed east until Wabash Street. Fans who want to catch the downtown parade are encouraged to see them along this route.
From there the motorcade will proceed east to Michigan Avenue; travel north to Randolph Street and east along Randolph to Columbus Drive.
At approximately 11:00a.m., when the motorcade arrives at Columbus and Randolph, the team will be joined by sponsors AllState, the Boeing Company, ComEd, CME Group, BMO Harris Bank and Bud Light, which are providing financial support for the day's activities.
Fans may also attend the parade route along Columbus Drive, between Monroe Street and Balbo Street, heading south.
When the motorcade arrives at the Hutchinson field rally site, the team will step off the buses to immediately start the rally.
There will be zero tolerance for drinking on the public way.
IMPACTED STREET CLOSURES
All east/west streets located in between Roosevelt Road to Randolph Street from Michigan Avenue to Lake Shore Drive will be closed for the celebration beginning at 12 a.m. They include Balbo Avenue, Jackson Street and Monroe Street, but Congress will remain open.
Motorists should anticipate additional street closures as necessary due to crowd size to ensure the public safety of pedestrians and parade attendees.
Officials are encouraging fans to use public transportation.
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will offer additional service to customers traveling into the Loop on Friday. Riders are advised to allow plenty of travel time due to street closures, traffic congestion and reroutes. CTA's Red and Blue subway lines and Brown, Green, Pink and Orange elevated lines are the best option for Blackhawks fans heading downtown for the parade and rally.
Additional service will be provided on all eight rail lines following the morning rush period through midday. CTA buses will be detoured in the downtown area during the parade and as a result of street closures for the rally. Detailed service information is available at www.transitchicago.com.
To speed travel and reduce lines, customers are encouraged to buy farecards in advance with sufficient value or to add enough value to their existing farecards (either the Chicago Card or magnetic strip Transit Card) for their return trips later in the day. People going to the rally in Lower Hutchinson Field should use stations south of Madison. This will help them avoid the crowd on the Washington parade route.
Metra will be adding service on most of its lines and offering a special one-day only $5 unlimited ride ticket to accommodate Chicago Blackhawks fans attending the downtown parade and rally.
Riders should be aware that morning and evening rush-hour trains, as well as trains immediately before and after the event, are likely to be very full. Trains may depart early if they reach capacity so riders are advised to allow adequate time to arrive at the station and board the train.
Due to the event, bikes and alcohol will be banned from all trains on Friday. Metra also will be adding security and increasing its police presence on trains and stations Friday.
The weather forecast for Friday is 77 degrees with a chance of rain. Fans are encouraged to dress accordingly and make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day.
WATER AT THE RALLY
Closed water bottles will be allowed into the rally, water fountains will be onsite, and water will also be available from onsite vendors during the rally at Hutchinson Field.