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Rare Bears Night Game, Marathon Prep Will Snarl South Loop Traffic For Days

By Kyla Gardner | October 9, 2013 11:38am
 Cars travel on Lake Shore Drive outside Soldier Field in the South Loop.
Cars travel on Lake Shore Drive outside Soldier Field in the South Loop.
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Flickr/Sergio Goncalves Chicago

CHICAGO — Do your grocery shopping Wednesday, South Loopers.

A rare Thursday night Bears game and preparation for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon this weekend could snarl traffic in the neighborhood for several days.

"It'll be an absolute gridlock between Thursday and Sunday," said Tina Feldstein, president of the Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance. "Do all your shopping right now, before Thursday, especially if you need your car."

The kickoff for the Bears-New York Giants game is at 7:25 p.m. Thursday, but traffic will begin backing up just as rush hour begins as fans head to the stadium to tailgate or beat security lines.

Drivers coming from north of Soldier Field won't be able to sneak off Lake Shore Drive onto Balbo Drive or Jackson Boulevard.

From Michigan Avenue to Lake Shore Drive, Balbo and Jackson closed Wednesday to set up a medical facility for the marathon on Sunday, said Lily Homstad, marathon spokeswoman.

Grant Park will close completely at 10 a.m. Friday.

All 45,000 marathon runners will also descend on McCormick Place to pick up their race packets Friday and Saturday.

The packets are required to be picked up at the Marathon Health & Fitness Expo, which takes place from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. The expo is also free and open to the public.

Race day Sunday will see the closure of streets across the city. More information can be found here.