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We encourage you to capture this special moment with your graduate at our specially created photo backdrops. These backdrops will be located around the main concourse by college. You are welcome to take pictures before or after the ceremony.
GradImages, a professional photography company, will take two photos of graduates during the Commencement Ceremony: 1) as they shake hands with their college President and 2) as they exit the stage holding their degree cover. Approximately one week after the ceremony, your graduate will receive an email from GradImages to their CCC email with instructions to view and order their photos.
No photographers will be permitted on the floor at the Wintrust Arena. Guests will NOT be allowed to access the floor to present flowers or otherwise interrupt the proceedings. Please make arrangements with your graduate to meet outside the Wintrust Arena after the ceremony.
Information & Concessions
City Colleges Volunteers will be located throughout the Wintrust Arena to help direct or answer any questions you may have. Please look for the volunteer badges.
Wintrust Arena will have Concessions open, with limited options, before and during the Ceremony.
First Aid Stations
First Aid Station is located near Gate 4. If you need assistance or medical attention, please seek Wintrust Arena Staff or Wintrust Security.
Parking Lot A (8′ height clearance) is a six level garage with 2,100 parking spaces located on Martin Luther King Drive, adjacent to the West Building. Covered walkways from Lot A leading directly into McCormick Place and the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel also provide added convenience.
Driving Direction to the Wintrust Arena
Parking Lot A is the closest lot to the Wintrust Arena:
From the North:
Using the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94), consider exiting at 18th Street, heading east over to State Street, turning south onto State Street to Cermak Road, then traveling east on Cermak Road over to the Wintrust Arena.
From the West:
Using the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290), consider exiting on Damen or Ashland Avenue, heading south to Cermak Road, then traveling east on Cermak Road over to the Wintrust Arena.
From the South:
Using the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90/94), consider exiting on 31st Street, heading east to King Drive, then traveling north on King Drive to the McCormick Place Complex. Continue north on King Drive which will turn into Cermak Road leading to the arena. Or follow the signs directing you to Parking Lot A
Inbound on the Stevenson Expressway (I-55):
Consider using the ramp leading to the southbound Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90/94), exiting on 31st Street, heading east to King Drive, then traveling north on King Drive to the McCormick Place Complex. Continue north on King Drive which will turn into Cermak Road leading to the arena. Or follow the signs directing you to Parking Lot A
Taking Public Transportation to the Wintrust Arena
Chicago Transit Authority (Bus System):
#3 King Drive bus is the most common bus route to the Wintrust Arena, running north/south along Michigan Avenue. The #3 stop is at Michigan Avenue and Cermak Road. It serves many downtown hotels, as well as the Magnificent Mile and Water Tower Place.
#21 Cermak Road bus runs East/West along Cermak Road. The #21 stop is at Michigan Avenue and Cermak Road.
#4 Cottage Grove bus runs North/South along Michigan Avenue, two blocks west of the Wintrust Arena. The #4 stop is at Michigan Avenue and Cermak Road.
Chicago Transit Authority Elevated Rail System “L”:
The CTA Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line Station (Chicago, IL) station is located at Cermak Road and State Street, 2.5 blocks (0.15 mile) west of the Wintrust Arena at Cermak Road and Indiana Ave.
The CTA Cermak-Chinatown Red Line Station (Chicago, IL) is located four blocks west (0.5 mile) of the Wintrust Arean and two blocks west of the Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line Station.
METRA Rail (Electric Line):
Located on Level 2.5 of the Grand Concourse in the South Building, the METRA Electric commuter railroad provides direct service within seven minutes to and from downtown Chicago. Service from the Millennium (Randolph St.) Station (near the Fairmont Hotel) to McCormick Place begins early morning, with more frequent pick-ups during rush hours.
Seating for Families & Guests
Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The doors of the Wintrust Arena open one hour before the ceremony. Since seating is open, please do not save seats in any way other than sitting in the seat. Special seating is available to guests who are hearing impaired or disabled.
Children and infants will not be allowed to accompany graduates on the arena floor. For safety reasons, please arrange for family or friends to care for children in the guest seats.
Guests are not permitted on the arena floor level before, during or after the ceremony. Violators will be escorted by security from the ceremony.
All guests age 1 and older must have a ticket to enter the Wintrust Arena. Each graduate will receive an allotted number of tickets for guests to the Wintrust Arena. A graduation usher will direct guests to available seats.
Guests arriving when the arena has reached capacity, will NOT be permitted into the arena.
Please refrain from bringing horns, mechanical noise makers, laser pointers, strollers/car seats or helium balloons to the Commencement ceremony. These items will be confiscated upon entry by the Wintrust Arena security.
Guests with Accessibility Needs
There are accommodations for both parking and seating for elderly and disabled guests. If your guests require special seating accommodations, please notify an usher or Wintrust Arena Guest Services.
Upon arrival at the venue, guests with special needs should ask for a “guest services” host. The Wintrust Arena does not provide wheelchairs for guests to use during the commencement; however, they can assist with escorting your guests to their seats via a wheelchair or providing a handicap accessible seat.
Available services include:
- Early admission to the ceremony
- Preferred seating in the case of the mobility/hearing impairment
- A reserved seating section for hearing impaired guests requiring sign language interpreting services
- For those with their own wheelchair, Wintrust Arena staff will help identify the accessible seating sections.
- Ushers will direct you to accessible seating sections. Only one family member may accompany the individual in these designated areas. All other family members must fine seating as available. Limited seating is available for family members needing assistance.