When it comes to trying new, exciting cuisine, few foods hit the spot like a deliciously fresh Mediterranean meal. However, we know that it can be very difficult to find authentic Mediterranean grocery wholesalers in Chicago, IL. Having lived in metro Atlanta for years, we realized that our customers needed an easy way to find quality wholesale Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food in bulk. That is why we created Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market - to give everyone a chance to enjoy tasty, healthy food, desserts, and authentic Mediterranean gifts at wholesale prices.
Founded in 2009, Nazareth Grocery has become one of Chicago's leading international wholesale grocery stores. We are very proud to serve our customers and do everything in our power to give them the largest selection of high-quality wholesale goods available.
If you're looking for the freshest, most delicious Middle Eastern wholesale products and ingredients, you will find them here at the best prices in the state. We encourage you to swing by our store in Marietta to see our selection for yourself. We think that you will be impressed!
At Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market, our mission is simple: bring you and your family the largest selection of wholesale Mediterranean products in Chicago. When coupled with our helpful, friendly staff and authentic Middle Eastern atmosphere, it's easy to see why we are the top Middle Eastern grocery wholesaler in Chicago, IL. We're proud to carry just about every kind of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern product that you can think of, from prepared meals and hookahs to fine seasonings and sweets. We're here for our customers and want each one of them to have a unique, one-of-a-kind experience when they shop with us.
Our loyal customers love our selection of the following wholesale foods and gifts:
There is so much more to Mediterranean food than pizza and pasta. The perfect climate combined with delicious foods and amazing wine makes the Mediterranean incredibly irresistible. That's why our customers absolutely love to buy this kind of cuisine in bulk. Every country in this region has its own set of specialties and delicacies, each with its own flavors and styles of preparation.
Mediterranean countries include:
So, when it comes to the most popular wholesale Mediterranean products in Chicago,
what are we talking about?
Feta cheese is a classic Mediterranean dairy product that is often enjoyed on its own, in Greek salads, on bread, or mixed with zucchini. Depending on where the feta is sourced and produced, the cheese can be made from cow, sheep, or goat milk, or even a combination of the three. Regardless of the animal it comes from, this delicious cheese is a crowd favorite.
This Levantine dish is one of the most well-known Mediterranean dishes to eat in the United States. It typically comes in the form of a dip, served with pita or another kind of dipping bread. Commonly served before dinner as an appetizer of sorts, it usually features tahini, eggplant, garlic, spices, and sometimes yogurt. This tasty cuisine works great as a spread on a sandwich, or you can even eat it with a spoon, all on its own.
If you have never tried authentic baklava before, get ready to have your mind blown. This dessert is a traditional Mediterranean food that will have your taste buds craving more and more. Once you open a box of baklava from our Mediterranean grocery wholesaler in Chicago, IL, you won't want to stop eating! Baklava is made with layers of thin filo dough, which is layered together, filled with chopped nuts (think pistachios), and sealed with honey or syrup. Baklava is so good that its origins are debated, leaving many wondering which country invented the dessert. Everyone from the Turks to the Greeks and even Middle Easterners hold unique takes on baklava. Try each one to discover your favorite!
Fresh, healthy, aromatic, rich: it's no wonder that the popularity of Middle Eastern cuisine and products has skyrocketed in the United States. This genre of cuisine features a large variety of foods, from Halvah to Labneh. If there were one common theme throughout all Middle Eastern food, it would be the bright, vibrant herbs and spices that are used. These flavorings help create rich, complex flavors that foodies fawn over. Typically, Middle Eastern food is piled high for all to eat, with enough food for an entire republic to put down.
This refreshing, healthy dish is chock-full of greens, herbs, tomatoes, and bulgur (or cracked wheat), creating a memorable, bold flavor. This dish may be eaten on its own or paired with a shawarma sandwich or helping of falafel. It's best to buy your ingredients in bulk to make this dish because it tastes best freshly made with family around to enjoy. Just be sure to bring a toothpick to the tabbouleh party - you're almost certain to have some leafy greens stuck in your teeth after eating.
We mentioned shawarma above, and for good reason - this dish is enjoyed by men and women around the world, and of course, right here in the U.S. Except for falafel, this might be the most popular Middle Eastern food item in history. Shawarma is kind of like a Greek gyro, with slow-roasted meat stuffed in laffa with veggies and sauce. The blend of spices and the smoky meat mix together to create a tangy, meaty flavor that you will want to keep eating for hours. For western-style shawarma, try using beef or chicken. For a more traditional meal, try using lamb from our Middle Eastern grocery distributor in Chicago, IL.
Traditionally used as a dip meant for fresh pita, hummus is a combo of chickpeas, garlic, and tahini, blended together until silky, smooth, and creamy. You can find hummus in just about any appetizer section of a Middle Eastern restaurant menu. That's because it's considered a staple of Middle Eastern food that can be enjoyed by itself, as a spread, or with fresh-baked pita bread. Hummus is also very healthy, making it a no-brainer purchase from our grocery store.
If there's one diet that is most well-known for its health benefits, it has got to be the Mediterranean diet. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report listed the Mediterranean diet as No. 1 on its best over diet list. This incredible diet has been cited to help with weight loss, brain health, heart health, diabetes prevention, and cancer prevention.
Whether you already love Mediterranean food or you're looking to make some positive changes in your life, this "diet" is for you. Eating cuisine like Greek food, Persian food, Turkish food, and Italian food is healthy and tastes great. Even better than that? At Nazareth Wholesale Grocery, we have many staples of the Mediterranean diet for sale in bulk so that you can stock up on your favorites at the best prices around.
So, what exactly is the Mediterranean diet?
It is a way of eating that incorporates traditional Greek, Italian, and other Mediterranean cultures' foods. These foods are often plant-based and make up the foundation of the diet, along with olive oil. Fish, seafood, dairy, and poultry are also included in moderation. Red meat and sweets are only eaten in moderation, not in abundance. Mediterranean food includes many forms of nuts, fruits, vegetables, fish, seeds, and more. Of course, you can find at them all at our wholesale Mediterranean grocery store!
Here are just a few of the many benefits of eating a healthy Mediterranean diet:
Many studies have been conducted on this diet, many of which report that Mediterranean food is excellent for your heart. Some of the most promising evidence comes from a randomized clinical trial published in 2013. For about five years, researchers followed 7,000 men and women around the country of Spain. These people had type 2 diabetes or were at a high risk for cardiovascular disease. Participants in the study who ate an unrestricted Mediterranean diet with nuts and extra-virgin olive oil were shown to have a 30% lower risk of heart events.
In addition to the heart-healthy benefits of a Mediterranean diet, studies have shown that eating healthy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods can reduce the chances of stroke in women. The study was conducted in the U.K., which included women between the ages of 40 and 77. Women who stuck to the Mediterranean diet showed a lower risk of having a stroke - especially women who were at high risk of having one.
First and foremost, purchase your Mediterranean and Middle Eastern wholesale foods from Nazareth Grocery - we're always updating our inventory! Getting started on this healthy, delicious diet is easy.
Instead of unhealthy sweets like candy and ice cream, try eating fresh fruit instead. It's refreshing, tasty, and often packed with great vitamins and nutrients.
Try eating fish twice a week, in lieu of red meat. Fish is much healthier and doesn't have the unfortunate side effects of red meat, like inflammation.
Try planning out your meals using beans, whole grains, and veggies. Don't start with meats and sweets.
They're tasty, but try to avoid processed foods completely.
Instead of using butter to flavor your food, use extra virgin olive oil instead. Olive oil contains healthy fats and tastes great too.
Try to get more exercise and get out of the house. The Mediterranean lifestyle is an active one, best enjoyed in the beautiful sunshine when possible.
Buying wholesale and retail are quite different. When you buy products from a wholesaler, you're essentially buying from the middleman between a retail establishment and the manufacturer. Wholesale purchases are almost always made in bulk. Because of that, buyers pay a discounted price. That's great for normal buyers and great for business owners, who can sell those products to profit. This higher price is called the retail price, and it is what traditional customers pay when they enter a retail store.Free Estimate
CHICAGO (WLS) -- The first of three sold-out Taylor Swift concerts was held at Soldier Field Friday night, part of a three-show stop on her Eras Tour."Since like two in the morning. Why? Because we wanted to be first," said Shona and Lorna Garcia, who lined up in the wee early morning hours.Big crowds are expected all weekend long for one of the most-anticipated musical events of 2023. About 55,000 people are expected to attend each night.Lynn is choosing to be a bit incognito on Friday night because, she said,...
CHICAGO (WLS) -- The first of three sold-out Taylor Swift concerts was held at Soldier Field Friday night, part of a three-show stop on her Eras Tour.
"Since like two in the morning. Why? Because we wanted to be first," said Shona and Lorna Garcia, who lined up in the wee early morning hours.
Big crowds are expected all weekend long for one of the most-anticipated musical events of 2023. About 55,000 people are expected to attend each night.
Lynn is choosing to be a bit incognito on Friday night because, she said, her dad doesn't know she scored a ticket last night.
"I'm wearing a 'Red' outfit that she actually wore in her concert," Lynn said. "Dad, I love you. Please don't kill me. This was a graduation present."
Taylor Swift 'Eras Tour' at Soldier Field: What you need to know before you go
One mother-daughter duo from Arizona has been bonding over Taylor Swift and her inspirational music for years.
"I was with her for reputation so it's really, to me, it's special part of life," said Nicole and Karley Sweer. "I've loved Taylor Swift for as long as I can remember, and this is like, the first musical artist I kind of loved."
The concrete walls of the football stadium were no match for the sound of excitement in the air, especially at the very moment Swift took the stage.
"I'm just so excited to be around everyone else. This has just been years in the making," said Kristina Johnson.
In fact, it's been nearly five years since Swift toured.
The excitement surrounding the shows really began on Thursday, as even more Swifties were lined up to buy merchandise ahead of this weekend. Most are after a coveted crewneck fans say are only sold at her concerts.
"It's because a lot of it is not going to be online and I feel like the blue crewneck everybody's going crazy for," said Angelica Tenuta and Emily Kriska, who live in Kenosha.
ABC7 spoke with people who had been camped out since 2 a.m. and don't even have tickets.
"I did not get tickets yet, it's actually very sad. If I can't get tickets, I'm going to get merch, because the tickets, right now, are really expensive, so I'm like, I'll just get merch instead," said Miroslav Uzelac, who lives in Skokie. "I love Taylor Swift. Laughs. I think I have a bit too much of her obsession with her."
They're hoping for some T-Swift luck to snag some.
"I just need two tickets. So, if someone has extra tickets, let me know, please," said Kedzie O'Malley, who lives in Orland Park.
If you're lucky enough to have tickets, there will be shuttle buses from the Millennium Park Garage. People can also get dropped off at the 18th Drive turn-around, just west of DuSable Lakeshore Drive.
Pick-ups will be along Columbus Drive between Balbo and Roosevelt. Parking passes are already sold out.
"We are going to be in the nosebleeds, but it's OK, wherever we are. It's worth it. It is it's so worth it," said Aubrey Tabler and Jslyn Peck, who are from Mishawaka.
The parking lots opened up at 2 p.m. to concertgoers. Gates opened at 4:30 p.m.
"I'm so excited to scream all the songs. And all the chants, we learned all of the chants," said Lucianna Cardamone and Brooklynn Jack, who live in Norridge. "We finally got tickets last-minute, so we're excited."
The merch tents opened at noon.
The Friday and Saturday concerts start at 6:30 p.m. with openers Owenn and Girl in Red. Taylor is expected to go on at 8.
The Sunday show starts at the same time with openers MUNA and Gracie Abrams. Swift will come on stage around 8 p.m. and play a three-hour set.
Getty Images The Chicago Bears' search for a new stadium is expanding beyond Arlington Heights after a tax issue arose that could spark the end of the proposed stadium in the area. Specifically, the Bears note that Cook County has assessed its property taxes to a level that the franchise feels is too high to potentially make it a viable home for a new stadium. While the team says it is still working with the Arlington Heights location...
The Chicago Bears' search for a new stadium is expanding beyond Arlington Heights after a tax issue arose that could spark the end of the proposed stadium in the area. Specifically, the Bears note that Cook County has assessed its property taxes to a level that the franchise feels is too high to potentially make it a viable home for a new stadium. While the team says it is still working with the Arlington Heights location, it added that "it is no longer our singular focus."
"The Chicago Bears goal of building the largest single development project in Illinois history led by billions of dollars in private capital investment, and the jobs and economic benefits generated, is at risk in Arlington Heights," the team said in a statement released Friday, via NBC 5 Chicago. "The stadium-based project remains broadly popular in Arlington Heights, Chicagoland and the state. However, the property's original assessment at five times the 2021 tax value, and the recent settlement with Churchill Downs for 2022 being three times higher, fails to reflect the property is not operational and not commercially viable in its current state.
"We will continue the ongoing demolition activity and work toward a path forward in Arlington Heights, but it is no longer our singular focus. It is our responsibility to listen to other municipalities in Chicagoland about potential locations that can deliver on this transformational opportunity for our fans, our club and the State of Illinois."
The franchise officially closed on the Arlington Heights site earlier this year and was eyeing an enclosed stadium and multi-purpose entertainment district for the property. Demolition has already begun on the site -- previously owned by Churchill Downs -- last month and the team said in this statement that this process will continue even as the future plans for the site are now in limbo.
The Bears met with Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli on Friday after he reached out to the franchise last week to highlight the city's benefit of hosting the new stadium, via CBS Chicago. Naperville, Illinois, is in DuPage County, so the organization may not be taxed as high as it would be if it proceeded forward with the Arlington Heights location in Cook County.
The Bears cannot exit their lease with Solider Field, their primary stadium since 1971, until 2026.
You know what motivates players unlike anything else? Simply being in a contract year. It's the one season upon which financial futures hinge for hundreds across the NFL. Have a down contract year, and you could be looking at the vested veteran minimum or a cheap one-year "prove it" contract.
Erupt in your contract year, and you're fielding a variety of multi-year deals with signing bonuses that eclipse all the money you've made to date.
Which players are bound to ascend in their contract years this season in the NFL? Below I've listed my five favorites.
You won't find players who've already experienced a breakout. Franchise-tagged players weren't included, either.
Last year's article was highlighted by Dre'Mont Jones and Tony Pollard, who are now much wealthier than they were entering the 2022 season.
CAR • WR • #5
Shenault has a legitimate case as the NFL's best yards-after-the-catch receiver. I'm serious. In 2021, he forced 20 missed tackles on just 63 receptions as a member of the Jaguars. Then, in 2022, he forced 15 missed tackles on a mere 27 grabs. Preposterous. He simply needs more opportunity and steady quarterback play.
While the former isn't guaranteed, he should get mostly consistent play from No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young, who proved to be a capable point-guard type passer at Alabama, routinely distributing the ball to all of his Crimson Tide targets and specializing in getting the ball out quickly. Plus, Frank Reich and Co. will design a QB-friendly system for Young that accentuates plenty of short, high-percentage passes -- precisely when Shenault will step in and become a household name for his super-powerful, tackle-breaking skills. I love him as a complement to the vertical, perimeter game of D.J. Chark and the nifty route-running talent of Adam Thielen.
TEN • DT • #93
Tart was an obscure undrafted free agent in 2020 after a collegiate career that included stops at three schools across four seasons and finished at Florida International.
And he's more than just beat the odds by making the team -- in a rotational, low-volume role, Tart's been a stud upfield rusher. At times, he's been borderline unblockable. After seeing the field for just under 500 total snaps in his first two seasons in Tennessee, Tart received 520 in 2022 and gave the Titans ample return on investment with 26 pressures on 305 pass-rushing snaps, which featured nine contests with at least two pressures.
Tart and Jeffery Simmons are a load on the inside of Tennessee's defensive front. Simmons got a well-deserved extension a few months ago. Tart will be next -- and the deal could come during the season.
NYJ • DE • #47
Huff is so damn disruptive. Why he hasn't played more for the Jets through two seasons is beyond me. Last year -- his third season in the NFL -- Huff registered 36 pressures on 173 pass-rush snaps, equivalent to a 20.8% pressure-generate rate, which extrapolated out is in the Micah Parsons range.
Of course, with a lower sample, reaching that rarefied air of 20% pressure-creation rate is easier than across a full season, yet Huff has essentially been as productive as human possible with the opportunities he's been given, so he deserves -- and will likely get -- a more sizable role in Gang Green's pass-rush rotation, even with the presence of two first-rounders on the edge.
He's primed for a dynamic season thanks to his burst, bend, and tenacious hand work. He has the goods to beat tackles in a multitude of ways, which will spark his breakout campaign.
ATL • LB • #3
Walker is the best linebacker in football you've likely never heard of unless you're a faithful Falcons fan. A former fourth-round pick from Fresno State, Walker's production has swelled in each of his first three seasons in Atlanta, culminating with a 107-tackle, six pass-breakup, four tackle-for-loss, two-interception campaign without much defensive line help -- outside of Grady Jarrett -- in front of him in 2022.
Now, the Falcons are formidable in the trenches, particularly with no-nonsense masher Calais Campbell next to Jarrett. Newcomer David Onyemata brings it on every snap too at 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds. Walker will be "kept clean" much more frequently than in the past. He's a sneaky-good coverage linebacker at a rather sleek 6-3 and 230-ish pounds.
Walker will piece together his finest season to date in the NFL and earn a monster payday in free agency after the season. Remember the name.
NO • WR • #11
I can't quit Edwards. He was a draft crush of mine in 2020 class, a prospect I had a first-round grade on but realized he'd be picked later because of a pre-draft foot injury. The ailment ultimately sunk Edwards' stock to the third round but, when presumably fully healthy, the former South Carolina star had a 34-grab, 571-yard, three-score 2021 in his second year in the league catching passes from Derek Carr.
Now Edwards is reunited with Carr in New Orleans after a cup of coffee with the Falcons. At 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, I remember a complete wideout in the SEC playing with Deebo Samuel. Tremendous ball skills, plus capability after the catch and enough athleticism and nuance to get open on route-running alone.
Yes, there's Chris Olave and Michael Thomas in the Saints wideout room. But not much else. I expect Edwards to finally get the chance to play like the pass catcher he was in college in 2023 and earn a lucrative albeit not super-expensive contract next offseason.
The Chicago Bears are exploring more options for a suburban stadium following a tax hiccup in Arlington Heights that could see the fall of the proposed stadium in what was once Arlington Park.In a statement to NBC Chicago, the Bears said while they are still working on the Arlington Heights location, "it is no longer our singular focus."“The Chicago Bears goal of building the largest single development project in Illinois history led by billions of dollars in private capital investment, and the jobs and economic...
The Chicago Bears are exploring more options for a suburban stadium following a tax hiccup in Arlington Heights that could see the fall of the proposed stadium in what was once Arlington Park.
In a statement to NBC Chicago, the Bears said while they are still working on the Arlington Heights location, "it is no longer our singular focus."
“The Chicago Bears goal of building the largest single development project in Illinois history led by billions of dollars in private capital investment, and the jobs and economic benefits generated, is at risk in Arlington Heights," the team's statement read. "The stadium-based project remains broadly popular in Arlington Heights, Chicagoland and the state. However, the property’s original assessment at five times the 2021 tax value, and the recent settlement with Churchill Downs for 2022 being three times higher, fails to reflect the property is not operational and not commercially viable in its current state. We will continue the ongoing demolition activity and work toward a path forward in Arlington Heights, but it is no longer our singular focus. It is our responsibility to listen to other municipalities in Chicagoland about potential locations that can deliver on this transformational opportunity for our fans, our club and the State of Illinois.”
A spokesperson for Naperville also confirmed Mayor Scott Wehrli "reached out to the Chicago Bears organization to introduce as a thriving community with multiple opportunities for business investment."
"With economic development as one of his primary focuses, the mayor will continue to highlight Naperville’s benefits to businesses throughout Chicagoland and across the country," spokesperson Linda LaCloche said in a statement, "These benefits include having the second largest economy in Illinois, along with a highly educated workforce, top ranked public safety, a vibrant downtown, excellent public transit and close proximity to major interstates, making it an attractive community for all types of business investment."
In a letter to Bears President and CEO Kevin Warren last week, Wehrli touted the community's accessibility and said there are several sites already available or soon-to-be available for the Bears' future home.
"As a lifelong Bears fan, I respect that the team has decided that developing and operating its own stadium is essential for on-field success and pursuing championships," the letter read. "On behalf of the City of Naperville, I would like to formally introduce our community to your organization as you consider or reassess your planned relocation. The city would welcome the opportunity to review your business needs and our available properties."
The team had most recently received sign-off to begin the initial phase of demolition plans in Arlington Heights.
The village posted on its website last month that approval was given for Phase 1 of the project, which allows for interior demolition, specifically knocking down the grandstand, office and jockey building.
The village of Arlington Heights released a statement Friday after the team revealed that it's exploring other possible locations.
"...The Village has always expected that the club would explore any and all viable locations as part of their due diligence process," the statement read, in part.
The village went on to tout the benefits of the Arlington Park location, such as having a dedicated Metra station and easy access to O'Hare Airport as well as Interstate 90 and Route 53.
"It is clear that the Chicago Bears Football Club understands the unique potential of this site, as evidenced by their recent purchase of the property," the statement continued. "The Village is committed to work with the club and all other regional stakeholders to continue to explore the potential redevelopment of this site and to work through the inevitable challenges that come with any large development effort."
In recent weeks, the potential move to Arlington Heights got a little more complicated after the Cook County Assessor hiked the assessed value of the team’s newly acquired land, meaning their property tax bill could be headed for a major increase.
The team closed on the purchase of the 326-acre site that held the former Arlington International Racecourse in February, paying $197.2 million for the property. The previous assessed value sat at roughly $33 million, but as part of the triennial reassessment, Assessor Fritz Kaegi’s office placed its value at $197 million. That increase could hike the property tax bill proportionally, spelling out a potential sixfold spike.
The Bears are asking the Board of Review to reassess the tax value of the property. A hearing is expected to take place on the matter in June.
"Our office’s mission is to assess property based on market value," a spokesperson for the Cook County Assessor's office said Friday. "The 2022 assessment of the former Arlington Racecourse site is consistent with both the 2023 purchase price of the property and the price per square foot of other similarly sized land in the area. The facts speak for themselves."
ROSCOE VILLAGE — Loba Pastry + Coffee’s Roscoe Village location has opened after months of crowdfunding and construction.Two years ago, owner Valeria Taylor announced she was moving from 3422 N. Lincoln Ave. to a corner storefront at 1800 W. Addison St., near the border of Roscoe Village and Lakeview.Taylor turned to ...
ROSCOE VILLAGE — Loba Pastry + Coffee’s Roscoe Village location has opened after months of crowdfunding and construction.
Two years ago, owner Valeria Taylor announced she was moving from 3422 N. Lincoln Ave. to a corner storefront at 1800 W. Addison St., near the border of Roscoe Village and Lakeview.
Taylor turned to crowdfunding via small loans from her supporters and ended up raising $36,000 on GoFundMe and $75,000 through Honeycomb Credit.
Last weekend, Taylor quietly opened Loba with limited hours, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday-Monday. She plans to expand the hours as she gets a better sense of the neighborhood’s — and her own — rhythm, she said.
“I haven’t baked professionally in almost two years, so I’m taking some time to get my groove back,” Taylor said.
Taylor reached out to former employees to see if they were available to come back, she said.
The menu for the new location will showcase customer favorites like pineapple sourdough muffins, canelé-inspired “glazed Robbies” and a sweet spring latte.
“It’s inspired by cherry blossoms, and it has almond extract and honey,” Taylor said. “And last week, I was doing a black milk latte. I think I may have that regularly, it’s made from black sesame milk and oat-based, so it’s good for people that don’t consume dairy.”
Taylor moved from her hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico, to Florida in 2004 and to Chicago in 2010. She realized she missed the sense of community in Mexico, which led her to become a pastry chef and open her own cafe and bakery, she said.
When it came time to choose a name for the business, Taylor remembered a podcast about wolves being reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. She said she was captivated by one of the female wolves who was “absolutely badass,” a fierce hunter and warrior and the leader of her own pack, which took in stray wolves.
That experience — combined with Taylor’s childhood memories of her grandma in Mexico warning her about wolves in the desert — led her to name the cafe Loba, which is Spanish for female wolf, she said. She opened Loba on Lincoln Avenue in 2016.
You can view Loba Pastry + Coffee’s full menu online.
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After tens of thousands of fans crashed outside Taylor Swift's concerts in Philadelphia last month, adding even more traffic congestion, Soldier Field doesn't want to end up in a similar situation.Fans without tickets to the Eras Tour's Chicago dates are strongly discouraged from showing up to the venue this weekend, according to a press release attempting to get ahead of Swifties who want to listen to the concert from the nearby parks or parking lots. Soldier Field's acoustics don't allow for quality audio from outside, and no part o...
After tens of thousands of fans crashed outside Taylor Swift's concerts in Philadelphia last month, adding even more traffic congestion, Soldier Field doesn't want to end up in a similar situation.
Fans without tickets to the Eras Tour's Chicago dates are strongly discouraged from showing up to the venue this weekend, according to a press release attempting to get ahead of Swifties who want to listen to the concert from the nearby parks or parking lots. Soldier Field's acoustics don't allow for quality audio from outside, and no part of the show will be visible from outside the venue, the statement said.
Swift's three-night stay, which begins on Friday, is completely sold out. Tickets will not be sold at the box office on the night of the concert.
Manager of Soldier Field Luca Serra estimates 75,000 people will be in the region around the museum campus Friday night, including ticketed concertgoers, nonticketed fans and others attending unrelated events. For the Saturday and Sunday concerts, Serra estimates a crowd of 65,000. He anticipates a larger crowd on Friday because of a nearby graduation ceremony and wedding that night.
"We're prepared for (nonticketed) people to come down, but again, we're really discouraging it simply because people will be a bit disappointed in terms of what they think they're going to come down and see or hear," Serra said.
Despite warnings to stay away, some Swifties are still planning to tailgate before the concert, regardless of ticket-holding status. Ricci McDonald recently posted a public Google form to her TikTok account Swiftie Suite Project, with the goal of helping fans meet up to tailgate before the concert on Saturday. The form had 192 responses as of this morning.
McDonald said she isn't necessarily organizing a true meet-up, but instead giving Swifties a place to communicate with each other about planning. She said safety is an issue, as well as wanting to be respectful of those who do have concert tickets.
"Based on the trends in other cities, people were going down no matter what, and I think it's much easier if you have an area where people are like 'OK, let's meet up here,' " McDonald said. "If it doesn't work out, or we get kicked out, 'everyone go home, be respectful.' But if it does work out, we can be a little bit more organized."
The Chicago Park District recently tweeted a reminder about permit rules, including one that requires gatherings of more 50 people to have a permit. Serra said the stadium will enforce city permit regulations.
Crowds are expected as early as Thursday morning, when tour merchandise goes up for sale at the venue. There will be multiple sale locations, both outside and inside Soldier Field — meaning nonticketed guests will still get to purchase merchandise.
John Simson, program director for the business and entertainment program at American University's Kogod School of Business, said concerts in general tend to have a large economic impact on local communities. He said in 2019, American concertgoers spent about $8 billion in lodging, $5.2 billion in food and beverages and $3.1 billion in local transportation.
Simson said concerts this year are seeing a marked increase in popularity after the COVID-19 pandemic, which made it hard to host large-scale events.
"You can see it's a huge impact that concert attendees have on local economies, and we're seeing it right now on steroids," Simson said.
Soldier Field parking lots are currently sold out. Patrons who have purchased a parking spot are welcome to tailgate, following the stadium's tailgating rules — one of which is that tailgating on stadium property is allowed only for ticketed guests.
Additional parking for the concert will be available at the nearby Millennium and South Grant parking garages, and the garages will provide free shuttle service between those locations and the show.
In anticipation of big crowds, the Chicago Transit Authority will run extra buses on the 130 and 146 lines during the three concert dates and additional Red Line service. Serra encourages people to use public transportation.
With about 165,000 ticket holders expected at the stadium across the three nights, 55,000 per concert, it's left to be seen how many more people will arrive without a ticket to the show.