Bears fans could face expensive surprise due to confusion over parking lot entry fee

John Garcia Image
Friday, December 28, 2018
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Parking is always a big deal around Soldier Field, even more so as the Chicago Bears head to the playoffs.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Parking is always a big deal around Soldier Field because there is not much of it and what there is is usually very expensive. Now it looks like some fans are paying even more than they need to for parking.

The North Garage parking lot was busy Thursday with museum traffic but it will likely be much busier next weekend or the weekend after when the Bears host their first home playoff game. On the Waldron Deck parking lot, a popular tailgating spot, Bears fans will line up to get in early to claim the best spots.

Many are also willing to pay high prices for those spots. Some spots are going for high dollars on websites like StubHub.

"It's a huge commodity, especially for the tailgate lots. And it's gonna be an expensive lesson to learn right now," said Steve Buzil with Sitclose Tickets.

The Bears are distributing passes to some season ticket holders for the parking lots the team controls, including the Waldron Deck and North Garage. Those passes allow you access to the lot, but you still have to pay the $49 fee to get in. Ticket resale sites we looked at make no mention of that, yet they are selling the passes for several hundred dollars.

"People are going to buy these coupons and they're going to show up at the venue expecting that 'My parking is paid for' but yet they're going to be asked to fork over $50 to $100 to park. That's wrong, that's fraud," said Russell Beckman, who gained notoriety as a Packers fan who is also a Bears season ticket holder.

Beckman says he would love to sell his parking pass, but believes it would be dishonest.

Ticket broker Steve Buzil says because of confusion surrounding the parking passes he's not selling them. "There's too much ambiguity in the marketplace. Another way to say it is it's like a parking lot abyss."

As a result of our inquiry, the ticket broker Vivid Seats tells us they have decided to remove parking passes from their website as well. They say they will offer refunds to fans who have already bought them.

Meantime, the Bears are warning fans who buy tickets or parking passes from brokers to make sure that it's a reputable broker.