(Editor’s note: this was written when the Northern League’s Schaumburg Flyers occupied Alexian Field. In 2012 the Frontier League’s Schaumburg Boomers will begin play there. We’ll update this piece once the season begins.)
Year Opened: 1999
Cost: $19 million
Owners: Village of Schaumburg and the Schaumburg Park District
Dimensions: 355L, 400C, 353R
Playing Surface: Grass
Ticket Prices (2012): To be announced.
League: Frontier League
Parking: Free parking lot is shared by transit station.
Address/Directions: 1999 Springinsguth Rd., Schaumburg. From the north: Take I-290 to Elgin-O’Hare Expressway (Thorndale). Go west to Irving Road/Springinsguth Road. Turn left (south) on Springinsguth Road; ballpark is on the left. From the south: Take US-20 (Lake Street) west on Elgin-O’Hare Expressway (Thorndale). Go east on Expressway to Springinsguth Road exit. Go south on Springinsguth Road and ballpark will be on the left.
Text and Photos by: Marc Viquez
The parking staff efficiently directed the flowing cars into their proper spaces. All of this was performed without paying a fee, a practice that seems to be diminishing at many minor-league ballparks these days. The steady flow of people was descending to the front of the main archway entrance and a local district manager of Qdoba Mexican Grill greeted me. He was giving out samples of chips and queso; he informed me he was getting the word out to the western suburbs of Chicago about the restaurant chain. It was his first night for the season and he was looking to be back at a few more home games.
The main entrance to the ballpark is below the seating structure and the souvenir shop is located in this area. I took the elevator up to the main concourse and I was delighted with what I saw around the area. I was enjoying my visit to Alexian Field well before the first pitch was thrown. The row of seats were 20 rows deep — no useless middle concourse — and ample amounts of berm seating down both the right-field and left-field lines. Fans seem to agree.
“I like the way it’s laid out,” said John Jones of Phillp Park. “[I like the] the grassy area, all the kids running around, all the venues, and it’s just an awesome size park to enjoy a game in.”
Indeed, it was a perfect-sized park, a fact I realized when I walked around towards the left-field party deck. There were a few gentlemen enjoying their time while updating the young lady, who was operating the ballpark’s scoreboard, on the Cubs-Braves game. The hand-operated scoreboard, reminiscent of Wrigley Field’s, also updates White Sox and all Northern League games. Also, the field dimensions at Alexian Field are exactly the same as those at Wrigley Field.
Everything was pleasant at the ballpark, just a nice simple place to enjoy a baseball game. The game-day staff were extremely sufficient and helpful when they came to assist patrons throughout the game. They could be noticed weary bright orange polo shirts throughout the concourse. There was also not an overabundance of outfield wall ads, which added its own sense of charm to the place.
“It’s close to home and it’s fun for the kids,” added Roselle’s Kim Seeger, who was at her first game of the season. “It’s convenient and it’s a safer environment for her [pointing to her young daughter]. It’s not that crazy here and players always stay and sign autographs.”
The crowd itself was enthusiastic about the game, a pitching duel that went into extra innings. When it was all said and down it was time for the fireworks to be launched in back of the ballpark, providing the quintessential minor-league ballpark experience.
Staff members were handing out glow bracelets as they enter the parking lot. If there were any ill-conceived premonitions before I enter Alexian Field they were no longer evident when I left after the game. In an area where there are two major-league teams, one affiliated minor-league team and three independent league teams; the Schaumburg Flyers and Alexian Field hold their own comfortably amidst the competition. I would not overlook this ballpark if I am in the area during the baseball season.