Everyone knows about Chicago’s five major league professional sports teams. They get all the coverage, all the fanfare, and all the attention.
But, what about the minor league teams? What about the pro teams in obscure sports? Can people still have a good time attending those games? Of course!
Here are some of Chicago’s top “other” teams:
Chicago Rush. Arena football is to the NFL as Pringles are to potato chips – really, they are completely separate entities connected by name only. While the NFL has the proverbial “three yards and a cloud of dust” mentality, where running the ball into a wall of defenders can be considered smart football, the Arena Football League emphasizes other fun things about the sport. Teams throw the ball around the field, and since the field is only 50 yards, scoring is common. A 6-3 defensive struggle? No way! You’re more likely to see a team score 70 points than just 7. The Rush play at the Allstate Arena, and tickets go from $8 in the upper decks, to $53 right along the field. The AFL season begins in March and runs to July.
Chicago Wolves. Hockey is a fantastic sport to watch live. It’s fast-paced, the puck is always in play, and when play does stop, a good number of times it’s because a fight broke out. Also, the Wolves have great fan support at the Allstate Arena. The Wolves have creative ticket plans and offers, like the Fan 4 Pack: four tickets, four drinks, and four hot dogs for as low as $75. The Wolves’ most expensive ticket is only $50 on the day of game, and the cheapest is $8. The regular season begins in October and goes until mid-April.
Chicago Bliss. Men will claim they love the Lingerie Football League only for the love of the game. But they also would say their uniforms don’t deter them from watching, either. The women in this league play football in lingerie, with a helmet and shoulder pads, elbow pads and knee pads for safety. It’s a full contact, seven-on-seven league. The Bliss play at Toyota Park. The LFL runs a very brief season, with four games from September to January; the Bliss have already played their home games for 2011. But when the Bliss are in the city next year, go to the field and cheer them on. But don’t get too crazy; you’ll just seem creepy.
Chicago Bandits. If you like baseball, then you will like softball. If you don’t like baseball… you will probably still enjoy softball. The Bandits play in the women’s National Pro Fastpitch league, which is very fast, exciting, dramatic and fundamentally sound. Also, the league features the best of the best women’s softball players – the Bandits have Monica Abbott, one of the best pitchers in NCAA history, and Vicky Galindo, member of the 2008 USA Olympic softball team. The Bandits play at Rosemont Stadium, a gem of a field near O’Hare, and the season runs from June to August.
Windy City Rollers. The roller derby is not just some fad from the 1970s. It has returned, and it’s popular. The Windy City Rollers is a league of four Chicago teams who play each other, and two travel teams who compete against other cities. They have special events year round at the UIC Pavilion and Odeum Center in Villa Park. The roller derby is, surprisingly, a complicated sport to describe, but all fans need to know is that there is constant action with big hits, strategy and drama. Tickets are just $20 for adults.