Five Do’s and Five Don’ts for Attending Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza

Don’t: Stay in the Same Place All Day

I once spent eight hours sitting on a blanket in Grant Park so I could see the Counting Crows, so I understand completely wanting to camp out to see a band you really like. Just be sure to let your friends hold down the fort for a little bit. Few things in life are quite as cool as falling in love with a new band, and Lolla is a great place to see some new acts. Go explore. Don’t be boring.

Don’t: Bring your Selfie Stick

Selfie sticks, tripods and other camera accessories are prohibited. Besides, you don’t really need a selfie stick if you have long arms. If you don’t have long arms, make a long-armed friend. I’m available. Just tweet me and I will come take a selfie with you.

Don’t: Be Shy

One of the greatest things Lollapalooza does is bring together unique people from around the Midwest. There are a lot of fun and interesting people to meet, so go meet them. Step out of your comfort zone a little bit and you may find yourself a new best friend. Just because you can’t bring a selfie stick doesn’t mean you can’t take a selfie with your new best friends.

Do: Stay Hydrated

Lollapalooza has six Camelbak Filling Stations located around the park where you can fill your water bottles. Chicago is hot in the summer, but there is no excuse for getting dehydrated at Lollapalooza.

Do: Participate in Lollapalooza’s Rock & Recycle Program

Lollapalooza goes to great lengths to be environmentally friendly, so be sure to do your part. Make sure recycling and compost find their way into the proper receptacles.

Do: Ride a Bike

Bike parking is located just outside the main entrance. You can also rent a bike for Lollapalooza from Bike and Roll Chicago. Pick up your bike at the McDonald’s Cycle Center located at the north end of Grant Park.

Do: Take Public Transportation

The CTA has bus and train routes to Grant Park, and Metra has multiple train stations within walking distance of Grant Park. Why deal with traffic if you do not have to?

Do: Park in the Underground Parking Garage at Grant Park

If you have to drive, the underground parking garage is the way to go. It is a bit expensive, but the underground garage is easy to get to from Michigan Avenue and very convenient.

Don’t: Forget to write down where you parked.

I literally spent two hours walking around that parking lot trying to figure out where I parked. Once you get in there everything looks the same, and there is nothing worse than wandering around looking for your car after a long day of concert-going. Don’t just save the location in your phone, because batteries can die. Write it down and put it in your wallet.

Do: Wear Sunscreen

This should really go without saying, but it is remarkable how many people either forget or neglect to wear sunscreen. Don’t be one of those people.
D

Don’t: Miss Sir Paul McCartney

McCartney just turned 73, and there is no telling how long he will keep touring. If you haven’t seen him yet, or even if you have, you are going to want to catch his Lolla performance Friday night.

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What to Expect from GA Tickets at the College World Series

TDAmeritradePark

One of the most common types of tickets at the College World Series are General Admission tickets. The benefits of buying GA CWS tickets, is that they are good for any game during the tournament. This makes it easy to follow your favorite team as they advance through the CWS bracket. But GA spots are only available for the first 5,000 fans who arrive at TD Ameritrade Park, meaning entry is not guaranteed. If you do decide to go the GA ticket route, here is a complete guide on what to expect, and how to get the most out of your experience at the CWS.

Where is the GA ticket entrance at TD Ameritrade Park?

GA Tickets

The entry for GA ticket holders at TD Ameritrade Park is in center field, just off of 10th street. It is marked with a small folding sign, and if you get there early enough, you will see a line forming outside.

How early should I get to TD Ameritrade Park to guarantee entry with GA Tickets?

CWS GA Ticket Line
GA ticket line 1 hour before the first pitch

I was a little unsure about what to expect in terms of a line, and actually getting into a CWS game with a GA Ticket. I arrived to a 7:00 pm elimination game just after 6:00 pm and found no line at the gate. I walked up, showed them my tickets, and was let right in. I would recommend fans trying to sit in the first couple rows show up 1.5 – 2 hours before the game. If you just want a spot in the stadium, showing up 45 minutes before the first pitch should give you no problems getting in.

Where can I sit with GA tickets at the CWS?

View from GA Seats  at the CWS
The view from right center

GA seats are reserved for the outfield bleachers in sections 125-134, which range from the left field pole, all the way to the right field pole. The bleachers have a back rest, but have no cushions, or cup holders. Simple, old school bleachers. The seats are not numbered, and you can pick any open area that you want to sit.

What are the best GA seats at the CWS?

Picking the best views from the GA seats is mostly preference. I chose seats in center field, and had a great view of the game. One thing to keep in mind, is the position of the sun. For evening games, the sun sets behind the first base line. Choosing a seat in left field for an evening CWS game, will mean looking into the sun for first few innings. The farther towards right field that you sit, the less of a nuisance it is. By about the 4th inning (8:15) the sun was comfortably behind the stadium.

Are the crowds in the GA seats family friendly?

At some events, GA seats can be a little rowdy for families with small children. That is not the case at the College World Series. The GA seats are full of families, with kids starting the wave, and beach balls flying overhead. It is a completely family friendly environment and welcoming to just about anyone.

Can you buy beer at the CWS?

There are no beer sales inside of TD Ameritrade during the College World Series. Outside the stadium, there are beer tents and vendors selling drinks, but once you enter, there are no adult beverages to be found. You are not allowed to leave and re-enter with GA tickets, so if you are looking for a beer, make sure you drink it before getting in line to enter the stadium.

General Tips

Up until about 15 minutes before the National Anthem, there were plenty of places to find seats, even for larger groups. By the time the singing ended, the GA bleachers were just about at capacity, with only small pockets available for one or two people. Once you have found a spot that you like, make sure that you keep someone occupying it for the whole game. If you leave your seats will likely be snatched up by someone else before you return. In my experience, fans were pretty friendly, asking if anyone occupied the seats before sitting down, but if there is no one there to answer for them, the seats will likely be picked up.

GA Open Seats
Open seats 30 minutes before the first pitch

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The Open Championship Returns to St. Andrews

St Andrews Old Course
St Andrews Old Course

Last month I wrote about the uncertainty surrounding the U.S. Open, and for good reason. When you hold one of the biggest golf tournaments in the world on a course that looks like it should host the British Open and was a granite mine all the way back in 2007, there are bound to be some question marks. While Chambers Bay golf course is the source of most of the uncertainty surrounding the 2015 U.S. Open, the British Open offers just as many—albeit completely different—questions.

Chambers Bay and St. Andrews, the 2015 British Open host, are both links-style courses, but that is where the similarities end. While no one knows for certain what to expect at Chambers Bay, the Old Course at St. Andrews is probably the most well-known golf course in the world. While the players should enter that tournament knowing exactly what to expect from the course, nobody really knows what to expect from many of the game’s top players.

It is really unusual for so many of the top players to enter the summer in such a state of disarray, which should make the first two days of the British Open should be completely fascinating. In addition to seeing who makes the cut and who positions themselves to make a run on the weekend, we will be watching to see which of the top players are able to put things together when they need it most despite entering the tournament on uncertain ground. Those players are:

Rory McIlroy

If Rory’s 2015 British Open is half as interesting as his 2010 performance, he will be must-see television. A then-21-year-old McIlroy roared out of the gate with an opening-round 63, which tied the record for the lowest round ever at a major championship. He followed that up with an 80 on Friday, tied for the highest round of the tournament. He bounced back with rounds of 69 and 68 on the weekend to finish in a tie for third.
McIlroy has since won four majors and is first in the Official World Golf Rankings, but he enters the summer season looking anything but the best player in the world. After winning the Wells Fargo Championship, McIlroy missed the cut at the BMW PGA Championship and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation. The best player in the world missed the cut at his own event thanks to shooting an opening-round 80. Unlike the 2010 British Open, there was no 63 to balance things out.
McIlroy has since said his game is fine and his poor play was simply the result of fatigue. That is certainly plausible, as the Irish Open was his fifth tournament in as many weeks. Fatigue should not be a factor at the British Open, but rust could be. McIlroy is scheduled to play just once between the U.S. and British Opens—the Scottish Open July 8-11. Last year the Irish Open was the week after the U.S. Open, giving McIlroy two tournaments to prepare for the British. Could it be the change in schedule hurts him in the long run?

Tiger Woods

Tiger’s struggles have been well-documented, but ignoring him at St. Andrews would likely be a mistake. Tiger won two of the last three British Opens at St. Andrews and tied for 23rd there in 2010. Tiger’s only good result so far this season was his T17 at Augusta, another venue that has treated him well over the years. Tiger could easily be in the mix on the back nine Sunday.

Phil Mickelson

After struggling through most of 2014, Mickelson has shown some signs of life. He finished second at the PGA Championship and The Masters and tied for fourth at the Wells Fargo Championship. He also missed the cut at THE PLAYERS Championship and limped home to a T65 at the Memorial Tournament. Mickelson has made the cut in all four of his British Open starts at St. Andrews, but has never finished better than T11. He seems unlikely to best that this season, though you can never count out the five-time major champion.

Justin Rose

Rose has been as up and down as anyone this year. In his five tournaments leading up to The Masters he finished no better than T37, then was a runner-up at Augusta. On the year he has three top-twos and four missed cuts.

Rickie Fowler

The final three players I want to touch on all tied for 14th at the British Open in 2010. That is only a small part of their intrigue. Last season Fowler joined Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players ever to finish in the top five in all four majors in the same year. The difference, of course, is Fowler still has never won a major. Fowler has shown an uncanny ability in recent years to play his best golf in the biggest tournaments, but it is fair to wonder how long that can last. Since winning THE PLAYERS Championship he finished 30th at the Irish Open and missed the cut at the Memorial Tournament. He is certainly capable of flipping the switch again at the majors, but he needs to play much better than he has his last two times out.

Sergio Garcia

His missed cut at the Irish Open didn’t garner as many headlines as Rory’s, but it was pretty significant. It broke a streak of eight consecutive top-40 finishes that included a tie for second at THE PLAYERS Championship. Garcia tied for second in the 2014 British Open, and tied for 14th in 2010, but missing the cut in Ireland is not a good way to prepare for St. Andrews.

Dustin Johnson

Since he came back from six months off, everything has been feast or famine for Dustin Johnson. He has six top-10s in 13 events but also missed two cuts, tied for 69 at THE PLAYERS Championship and withdrew from the FedEx St. Jude Classic Thursday due to an “illness” though he was well over par at the time and likely would have missed the cut. Johnson could finish in the top 10 at St. Andrews or miss the cut altogether; both results seem equally likely.

Adam Scott

He was the number one player in the world rankings at this time last year but has fallen all the way to 11th after failing to finish inside the top 20 in seven consecutive tournaments. Scott is a major champion and finished T27 at St. Andrews in 2010, but he is an afterthought coming into the summer.

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