Besides getting my COVID-19 vaccine, nothing has made me feel like the pandemic is behind us like the experience I just had at Wrigley Field.

Recently, my wife and I had the opportunity to take our two sons to see our family's beloved Chicago Cubs inside the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.

This was our nine-year-old's first trip to see a game and he was very excited all day long. To be honest, we all were uncontrollably excited. Would this finally be the first game we've gone to that the Cubs have won?

After an entire season of not being able to see the Chicago Cubs from a seat at Wrigley Field, it's been such a thrill to see so many fans on TV. On June 11, when Wrigley Field was allowed to return to full capacity, watching that game on TV was as agonizing as it was fabulous. The crowd was so hyped up and we so badly wanted to be a part of it.

On Tuesday night, June 22nd, the Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians 7 to 1. Kris Bryant (our 9-yr-old's favorite player) hit a solo homer in the 4th inning, then Wilson Contreras and Patrick Wisdom hit back-to-back homers in the 6th. To be 4 of the 35,000 in attendance that night, is almost indescribable.


 

If you're planning on heading to Wrigley Field this season, here are the 6 things you need to know about some of the changes that have taken place. I know I said 5 in the title... I lied.

GETTING INSIDE THE FRIENDLY CONFINES

The MLB Ballpark app (iPhone/Android) is everything you need. No tickets to carry at all. Nobody takes a ticket from you and it appears to keep people from entering just any gate, you have to go through the gate the app instructs you to go through. We lucked out that we had to enter through the Gallagher Way Gate, right next to where you can get in a quick game of catch.


 

UNFORGETTABLE BATTING PRACTICE

I say unforgettable, because we only got to see the Cleveland Indians take BP. We arrived two hours before the game but they would'n let us in for about 30 minutes. When we got inside, we just assumed the Cubs would take batting practice next. Nope. For some reason, they seem to be hiding the team from us. I hope this was just a one-time thing and that we can come in and watch our favorite players warm up.


 

BASEBALL OPERATIONS TOLD US TO WAIT UNITL THEY WASHED OUR SEATS

The first thing we did once we were inside was find our seats. The woman who helped us find them asked if we could wait just a moment so she could physically wipe down our seats. They're really working hard to keep the place sanitized.


 

CASH IS NOT KING AT WRIGLEY FIELD

Don't forget a debit or credit card because they don't take cash anywhere inside. If cash is your only option, there are machines you can put cash into and it will spit out a temporary Wrigley Field debit card.


 

DON'T IGNORE THIS FOOD-GETTING TIP

Once you sit down, you'll notice on the seat in front of you, that you can use that MLB Ballpark app to order food and drinks ahead of time, or even to be delivered right to your seat. Choose to order ahead and then run down to get your order. The pre-order line is almost non-existent and that's much better than just waiting in line like normal. The 'right to your seat' menu is pretty limited, so we didn't bother trying that on this trip.

THE MOST UPSETTING PART OF OUR TRIP TO WRIGLEY

It's nothing bad. In fact, it probably saved me a few hundred dollars. We hit up the gift shops right away looking for one thing in particular. Have you seen those new Wrigleyville jerseys? They're beautiful AND sold out.


 

If you need more proof that we've been away from Wrigley for too long, the bleachers are rowdier than ever. There were two different cup snakes being constructed

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Steve Shannon is host of The Steve Shannon Show on 97ZOK. On the air weekday mornings from 6 to 10 a.m. and a special 'Rewind' show, featuring favorite moments from previous shows, on Saturday mornings from 5 to 7 a.m.. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and like his page on Facebook.