All right, let's say the daunting prospect of two more months-plus of Chicago winter is driving you a little bit stir crazy. So you decide to go sports crazy instead by going out to see all the major events that make this weekend sports nirvana.
After all, not only are the Bears in the playoffs Sunday at Soldier Field, but LeBron is in town for a winter visit, as are the Cubs, and you can cap the weekend off with the Blackhawks Sunday evening at the United Center.
The grand totalWhat will it cost you to see all the major league sports Chicago has to offer this weekend?
On the cheap: As low as $250
Going in style: $3,500 and up
Source: Ticket brokers, teams
Believe it or not, tickets to all are available, albeit sometimes at a price -- a considerable price.
So what would all that cost? And what's the difference in fare if you cheap it out compared to if you want to hang with the quality? Here's how it looks in chronological order.
3 to 9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at the Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Ave.: You can still buy tickets for the 26th annual convention. "In the past it has sold out," said Cub spokeswoman Dani Holmes-Kirk. "However, this season we did not cap individual weekend pass sales. The hotel sales are down, so this helps offset that." Indeed, you can still book a room if you want to save the gas money.
Low end: Weekend pass, $60.
High end: $370 for a two-night, double-occupancy stay at the Hilton, which will earn you up to four weekend passes at $20 apiece, plus $25 additional for the room for a third or fourth sleeper.
Just keep in mind the main events are Saturday, with the Ricketts Family Forum at 9 a.m., Cubs Baseball Management, including Jim Hendry, new manager Mike Quade and Hendry assistant Greg Maddux, at 10 a.m., and Remembering Ronnie, for late star and broadcaster Ron Santo, at 3 p.m., which still figures to get you out in time for:
Miami Heat v. Bulls
7 p.m. Saturday at the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., Chicago: Yes, LeBron James makes his first visit to town after rejecting the Bulls' overtures in favor of the Heat over the summer. (Winter in Miami rather than Chicago? What was he thinking?) Tickets are still available at the 100 level for $386.82 per seat if you buy two, $706.82 if you're going solo. For the real high and low ends, however, you'll have to try a ticket broker like StubHub, which had more than 1,500 available as of Thursday morning.
Low end: Standing room, $46.
High end: Main floor, $1,225. Earlier this week, courtside tickets were being offered for $10,000.
Keep in mind, before you shell out the big bucks, LeBron was considered day-to-day on Thursday with a newly sprained ankle. For extra credit, however, book a table late Saturday night at Cuvee, 308 W. Erie St., Chicago, in hopes that, play or not, LeBron stays in town after the game and shows up there, as he did on a couple of trips to town last spring. Yet, that might not leave you much to spend on: Seahawks v. Bears
Noon Sunday at Soldier Field, 1410 S. Museum Campus Drive, Chicago: The few remaining Bear tickets not already distributed to season-ticket holders sold out in just over five minutes earlier this week. Yet it's a poorly kept secret that many of those season tickets belong to people who shudder to even consider setting foot outside in subfreezing cold. So it's a Bear market for tickets, with almost 2,000 still available on StubHub as of Thursday.
Low end: $111 for the grandstand.
High end: $1,500 for the lower level, although at that price why not opt for the enclosed United Club at $1,471? That's a bargain after the United Club was going for more than $5,000 earlier this week. Then high-tail it across town to:
Predators vs. Hawks
6 p.m. Sunday at the United Center: The Hawks still had standing-room tickets available Thursday at $33.82, although there were single seats available at the 100 level for $381.82. The Hawks had a mere 323 tickets available at StubHub, which reflects the loyalty of their season-ticket holders as the defending Stanley Cup champions battle a division rival for playoff position.
Low end: SRO, $33.82.
High end: $383 in the lower level, although tickets on the glass were going for $575 earlier in the week.
The grand total
Let's break out the calculator to determine that seeing all events, at this point, will cost between $250 and $3,500 (plus whatever you spend at Cuvee).
Of course, many sports fans know the best seats of all are at home in front of the television. And if you simply have to get out to a game, but don't want to pay big-league prices, the Wolves are at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont all three nights.