Peter Heitman is partnering with McHenry County Community Foundation to bring a new ballpark and a Frontier League franchise to suburban Chicago.Peter Heitman is partnering with McHenry County Community Foundation to bring a new ballpark and a Frontier League franchise to suburban Chicago.
The current plan calls for a new ballpark in Woodstock, Illinois, a small town in the northwestern side of McHenry County. The actual details — like funding sources — are a little scant, but we’re told the goal is for a 6,500-capacity ballpark (with capacity of 10,000 for events like concerts) to be paid for totally with private funds. The goal is to open the new ballpark by 2010.
This isn’t the first time Heitman has made a run at a McHenry County ballpark. He worked for several months to bring a ballpark to McHenry Community College, only to see the local municipality reject the idea because of the potential impact on nearby Crystal Lake.
Heitman says he’ll bring an independent Frontier League team to the ballpark. Woodstock is 58 miles from Rockford, Ill., and we can’t imagine the owners of the RiverHawks are too pleased about a new team virtually on their doorstep. And, of course, there’s a bigger issue: Woodstock proper is only 23,215 (as of 2007), and the population in all of McHenry County is 315,943 (as of 2007), with the vast majority living in the more urban eastern part of the county. While Woodstock is growing, it would have to grow a whole lot to be on a par with most Frontier League markets.