Team: Schaumburg Boomers (Frontier League)
Game: Boomers vs Florence Freedom-5/26/2012
Team Website: www.boomersbaseball.com
Ticket Information: (847) 461-3696 or www.boomersbaseball.com
Tourism Information: (800) 847-4849 or www.chicagonorthwest.com
Online Broadcasts: WRMN-AM 1410 www.wrmn.com
Local Newspaper: Chicago Daily Herald www.dailyherald.com
Team Information: The Schaumburg Boomers are in their first season as a member of the independent Frontier League. The Boomers replaced the Schaumburg Flyers, who played in the Northern League from 1999 through 2010. At the end of the 2010 season, the ownership of the Flyers was stripped of the franchise by the league and in February 2011, lost their lease. Soon after, the rights to the team were sold to the owner of the neareby Joliet Slammers, Alan Oremus. Oremus subsequently sold the team to local attorney Pat Salvi, who also owns the Gary South Shore Railcats of the American Association. Salvi transferred the new team from the Northern League to the Frontier League where he would have an immediate rivalry with nearby teams in Joliet and Crestwood.
How About That Name (And Some History): Opened on May 27, 1999, the home of the Schaumbug Boomers was designed to be a miniature version of Chicago's famed Wrigley Field. The park, which was originally called Alexian Field after the nearby Alexian Brothers Medical Center, cost $19 million to construct, and was completed in just under a year. For the 2012 season, the park was renamed Boomers Stadium.
On The Town: One of the larger suburbs of Chicago, Schaumburg is located approximately 30 miles west of the "Windy City", and is ten miles west of O'Hare International Aiport. Schaumburg has a population of 75,386 according to the 2000 census.
Schaumburg is the home of the worldwide headquarters of Motorola Electronics, and is also the home of Woodfield Mall, the ninth largest shopping mall in the United States.
Other Tenants: None
Getting There: (From Chicago): Take I-290 west to I-294 north (exit 15B). Take I-294 North to Thorndale Ave (exit 5). Turn left onto Thorndale Ave, and follow towards the Elgin-O'Hare Expresseway west. Take the expressway to Irving Park Rd (IL-19). Follow to South Springinsguth Rd. Ballpark will be on the left and parking will be on the right.
Nearby Airport: O'Hare International Airport is ten miles west of O'Hare International Airport.
What To Do: I didn't get much chance to sight see in the area on this trip, so I would check with the local convention and visitors bureau for more information.
Where To Eat Before The Game: Honestly, I didn't see a lot of restaurants in the immediate area of the ballpark.
Where To Stay: On this trip, I stayed at the Red Roof Inn in Naperville, which is approximately half an hour south of Boomers Stadium. I chose this location as it was virtually equidistant from my two stops on this trip. This hotel was recently renovated, with updated interiors, which included new flooring, fixtures, and a large flat-screen TV. For more information, call (800) THE-ROOF or visit www.redroof.com.
Ticket Prices: The Boomers have two ticket price levels for single game tickets: $10.00 (box seats) and $7.00 (lawn seating).
Getting In: There are two main entrances to Boomers Stadium, one on the first base side and one on the third base side. Both gates are located up a flight of stairs from the ground level. The box office and main souvenir store are located on the ground floor behind home plate.
The Good Seats: The main grandstand extends from first base to third base with all individual seats. The lawn seating extends from the end of the grandstand to the foul poles along both lines.
Stadium Food: The home of the Boomers, like most of the "newer" minor-league parks, have placed a high priority on having top flight concessions sold. While Boomers Stadium might not have a huge concession lineup, they do have three "signature" items.
The first is the Brat-A-Boom, a new item this season, The sandwich consists of a 24 inch long bratwurst, which is served with a sauerkraut, bacon, a "beer cheese", and onion strings and is served on a large pretzel roll. The Brat-A-Boom, which probably could serve at least three people, costs $18.00. At the game I attended, legendary competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi made an apperance and set a record for fastest consumption of the Brat-A-Boom.
The next item is the Schaumburger, which consists of a 1/3rd pound ground beef patty served on a pretzel roll with "beer cheese", bacon, lettuce, tomato, and pickle.
The third specialty item was the "Hoosier Daddy" barbecue, which is sold at a special stand on the first base side. The stand serves barbecued pork, brisket, and chicken sandwiches as well as barbecued turkey legs.
To start off my eating, I sampled the ballpark hot dog, which although it was pre-made, was served hot. The bun was a little mangled and slightly soggy, but the wiener itself was fairly tasty and had a bit of a spicy kick.
Secondly, I tried the pulled pork sandwich from the Hoosier Daddy stand. The sandwich was of a good size, served very hot on a fresh kaiser bun. It was fresh from the smoker, and was coated in a fairly sweet sauce with a bit of a bite to it. For $8.00, it wasn't a bad deal.
Here are some of the other concession items sold at Boomers Stadium:
Hot Dog: $4.50 Cheeseburger: $8.75 Nachos: $6.50 Bottled Beer: $5.00 Pretzel: $3.00 Large Soda: $3.75 French Fries: $3.50 Pizza Slice: $4.75
Soft Drinks: Pepsi products are sold at Boomers Stadium.
ATM: I didn't notice that the park had an ATM on site.
Souvenirs: There is a small souvenir store located on the ground floor of the park just inside the home plate entrance. This store had a small line of items, which I'm sure will get larger as the season goes on. There is an auxiliary stand located at the end of the concourse on the first base side.
Restrooms: Plentiful, clean, and well stocked.
Mascot: "Coop" the Prairie Chicken circulates throughout the park and is very involved with the fans and the in-game promotions.
Dance Team: None
Program: The Boomers present a large, full-color program to all fans as they enter the ballpark.
The park's PA system is good, and the announcer and music are of a good quality as well.
Stadium Staff: Everyone was smiling and helpful.
Atmosphere: While the crowd was on the intimate side (the team drew over six thousand for their opener the night before), everyone seemed to be engaged in the game and having a good time. Once the team "grows some legs" in Schaumburg, I'm sure there will be a larger turnout on a regular basis.
Overall Rating: Boomers Stadium is a top-flight minor league stadium. With the inexpensive tickets, free parking and large free game program, I find a Boomers game to be a terrific entertainment value, which I'm sure will catch on with the area fans.