Chicago parade to honor Blackhawks' Stanley Cup

The streets of downtown Chicago will be lined with hockey fans on Thursday, June 18, as the city celebrates the Blackhawks’ third Stanley Cup win in six years.

Team members such as Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane will ride on double-decker buses during a parade stretching through the city’s Loop neighborhood to Michigan Avenue. Tens of thousands of fans are expected to greet the team when the buses arrive at Soldier Field for a rally starting at 11 a.m. Fans needed to get free tickets online for the event.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel promises a celebration “worthy of a hockey dynasty.”.

Meantime, many fans were left disappointed when free tickets to the rally were grabbed within minutes.

Rally tickets were made available on Ticketmaster at noon Wednesday. They were being offered shortly after for sale on websites like EBay.

The speed in which the tickets were gobbled up raised the question of why the rally isn’t being held on Hutchinson Field in Grant Park. That is where tens of thousands gathered in 2013.

Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events deputy director David Kennedy said rain has left the field waterlogged.

The rally will be preceded by a 10 a.m. parade that begins at Washington and Racine streets. It will head east to DesPlaines St., south to Monroe St. and east to Michigan Ave. City officials say Soldier Field will open at 8 a.m.

If you plan to use the South Shore to Chicago today, prepare to stand.

Operators of the line expect crowded conditions due to the parade and rally.

During the last Blackhawks celebration in 2013, most in and outbound trains were standing room only. 22,000 passengers rode the rail, as opposed to a typical weekday when they carry 12,000 passengers.

The line’s operators say alcohol is prohibited on all trains on Thursday.

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