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Best Seats For Penguins vs. Blackhawks at Soldier Field

Published Feb 17, 2014 / by Steve Calhoun

Where To Be When Outdoor NHL Action Returns to Chicago

The Windy City is no stranger to outdoor NHL hockey, playing host to the Winter Classic at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field back on New Years Day of 2009. But on March 1st, the excitement heads a few miles southeast to the shores of Lake Michigan where Soldier Field will feature a matchup of NHL elites.

The visiting Pittsburgh Penguins sit atop the Eastern Conference points standings, and will be carrying 7 Olympians in tow as they look to move their outdoor record above 0.500 after beating the Sabres in the 2008 Winter Classic and falling to the Capitals in the 2011 Classic. The defending Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks are currently tied for second place in the West, but have the advantage when comparing Olympians with a total of 10 players sent to the games in Sochi. With names like Crosby, Toews, Malkin, and Kane, all on display doing what they do best under the lights of Soldier Field, it should come as no surprise that this is one of the hottest tickets in town.

Its easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of the superstar matchup and the outdoor stage, but don't overlook the fact that football stadiums are designed and built with a focus on providing sight lines for football, not hockey. Take a read through our list of recommendations, tips, and photos as we break down the most important seating aspects to consider before buying your tickets for Blackhawks vs. Penguins at Soldier Field.

Soldier Field Stadium Series: Seating Overview

  • March 1st, 2014 - Puck Drop at 7:00pm CST
  • Blackhawks shoot twice at the south end (seating chart below)
  • Penguins shoot twice at the north end
  • Player benches are located on the east side of the stadium
  • Lower level seating may have limited views of the ice
  • Club seat ticket holders will have access to a climate controlled lounge

  • Soldier Field Stadium Series: Seating Chart

    Soldier Field Seating Chart

    Soldier Field Stadium Series: Tickets

    The Closer the Better?  Not at All...

    A lower level front row ticket is sure to be in high demand for any given Chicago Bears game, but for an ice surface that is 30% of the size of an NFL football field and includes boards and glass surrounding the action, these seats leave much to be desired when it comes to view. The 100 level seats of Soldier Field have very little elevation above ground level, making it difficult to see much of the surface and leaving you watching the videoboard more than the ice. Most sections in the 100 level have between 17 to 19 rows, so if you want to be in the lower level, opt for seats in the highest numbered row possible.

    One advantage to the lower level is getting the chance to be close to the players as they enter and exit the locker room. The entry tunnel between sections 146 and 148 is historically where the home team will enter and exit, while the tunnel between 101 and 155 is reserved for the visiting team.

    Lower Level View (CC)

    Superior Sightlines on the Second and Third Tiers

    The best views are undoubtedly found on the 200 and 300 level sideline sections of Soldier Field. Higher elevation from the ground level provides a greater percentage of the ice surface which does not get blocked out by the boards, players on the bench, and media personnel standing just beyond the glass. Pictured below we estimate the various sightlines from the different seating tiers using a schematic of the East side of Soldier Field.

    It is important to note that the East side is also the Club side, and is very different than the West side of the stadium. For the best views on the East we recommend sections 205-213, and 305-313 (these seats also come with access to the Club Lounge, which will be a huge bonus to utilize for warming up during intermissions). But be prepared to spend a bit more for the comforts of the Club, as ticket prices are currently between $300 to $600 for one of these premium seats.

    Seating Tier Sightlines

    On the West sideline, the 200 level sections sit slightly further back than on the East, so the views are not as ideal but still provide a better vantage point than the lower level sections (and will also be fully covered by the overhang above). Located just above, Sections 333-341 on the West side of Soldier Field will be some of the best seats in the house as they extend just as close to the field as the 200 level sections beneath, and feature the best viewing heights while staying within the length of the ice. But the great views in these 300 level sections also come with a greater price tag, with ticket prices currently ranging from $260 to $300 for this sought after location.

    Nosebleeds Offer Solid Views and a Good Price Tag

    The nosebleeds, the highest seating in the stadium, and usually the least sought after of any ticket option. But as the photo below will show (taken at the 2013 Hockey City Classic at Soldier Field and courtesy of Miami University), the higher seats in the 400 level provide the most complete viewing to all areas of the ice surface. Your sightlines will only be obstructed when the puck wedges against the boards nearest to your seat, and your wallet will thank you for saving money on the cost of your ticket (currently as low as $113 per seat). With the Blackhawks shooting twice at the south goal, sections 428-430 along the sideline and sections 325-326 behind the net are good value options for the home team fans. Pittsburgh supporters will want to be near the north end of the stadium for the best chance at seeing a Penguins goal, with some of the most affordable listings currently available in sections 443-446 on the sideline and 355-356 behind the net.

    Upper Level Views (

    Staying Warm During a March Night in Chicago

    And finally, lets not forget that the game is scheduled for a 7:00pm puck drop on an early March night in Chicago. Average high for March 1st is 42 degrees, while the average low is 28. The sun will be gone and the cold of night will be setting in, making warm seats a valuable luxury. Having a covered seat can be a good way of battling the cold, and one of the best places to find it is the 200 level on the West side of Soldier Field. Sections 232-242 are entirely covered by the 300 level seating above, and with no more than 12 seats in a row, a trip to the concourse for a warm beverage requires just a few steps.

    Covered Seating

    Intermissions between periods last a minimum of 17 minutes, so if you're looking for the best place to get inside and warm up during the breaks, you'll want to be seated in the Club sections on the east end of the stadium. The Club seats feature wider padded seats, access to a climate-controlled lounge with eight bars and upscale food options, private restrooms, and multiple TVs throughout the lounge if it gets too cold to watch from the seats.

    The ticket listings and prices mentioned above are sure to go quickly, so we encourage you to take advantage of the rare opportunity to see two elite NHL teams battle it out under the lights of Soldier Field! And if you are lucky enough to get tickets for the game, please come back and visit us again afterward to share a seat review and post your in-seat photos!