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  • Writer's pictureMarc Viquez

Wintrust Field – Schaumburg Boomers


Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.29

Wintrust Field 1999 Springinsguth Rd Schaumburg, IL 60193

Year Opened: 1999 Capacity: 7,365

 

OK, Boomers Baseball in Schaumburg

Chicago has had an ample amount of options for various independent minor league baseball stadiums for the past 20-plus years. In 2021, the metropolitan area is home to six MLB Partner League organizations in the American Association or Frontier League. The wealth of smaller ballparks provides fans and travelers with the opportunity to enjoy the game when the Cubs and Sox are out of town and perhaps save some cash along the way.


Wintrust Field, known as Alexian Field from 2000-2011, in the northwest suburbs of Schaumburg has been the home to two different franchises since 1999 and is currently home to the Schaumburg Boomers of the FL. The first team was the Schaumburg Flyers of the Northern League, who played until being evicted for back taxes of over $551,000 after the 2010 season. The stadium was vacant for professional baseball the following year, but baseball returned the next season.


The Boomers debuted in 2012 and are named after the ‘booming’ sound of the local prairie chicken during the male mating season. The colors black and orange, along with an ornithologically detailed logo of the prairie chicken, on its cap and logo were chosen. The club would capture three league titles in 2013, 2014, and 2017. After a one-year hiccup, baseball is looking good in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.

Food & Beverage 3

Two main concession areas on the concourse offer a variety of options, including Pepsi products. They include jumbo hot dogs, grilled brats, cheeseburgers, veggie burgers, pizza slices, chicken tender baskets, nachos, and pulled pork sandwiches. The price range starts at $4 for a hot dog and tops out at $8 for chicken tenders and fries. The majority of the items are $6.


The Mac Shack offers a different take on the typical ballpark cuisine. Fans treat themselves to macaroni and cheese topped with their choice of shredded chicken, pulled pork, chopped hot dogs, or chili. The other toppings include onions, fried onions, jalapenos, and barbecue or buffalo sauce. A bowl will cost you $9 and is sure to be quite filling. Fans can also enjoy freshly popped popcorn in a large helmet.


There is a grand selection of craft beer either at the Goose Island kiosk, where four taps are available at $8 a pint, or the Pollyanna tend at the end of the first base side of the ballpark. Picnic tables and chairs are available for fans to enjoy three varieties of the local brew for the same price. More varieties at the concession stands include Church Street, Great Lakes, and Founders. However, you can enjoy a true Chicago classic, Old Style in a tallboy can at $7.


Atmosphere 4

It might have been one of the first baseball games in a couple of years. It felt like an actual baseball game. It was on Father's Day, and many were on the field playing catch with dad. It is a rare treat and indefinitely loads of fun for the many who did their best not to get hit with an errant ball or two during the pregame activities.


When the game started, it was business as usual. Many packed into the gift shop on the bottom floor of the stadium at the main entrance grabbing merchandise. One aspect was that many sizes were limited to small and medium with on-field caps. Two staircases on each side of the stadium brought fans up to the entrances to the ballpark.


Wintrust Field provides a basic layout with its concourse. It wraps around behind the left-field wall, where supplementary seating and a kids' area reside. There is also two lawn seating down each baseline,

Inside the ballpark, fans wait in line at the concession stands, little ones hang out the lawn areas for a foul, and smaller fans take their turn on the inflatable slide. Older fans found solace at the Pollyanna Brewing tent, where they enjoyed some beers, and conversations before making their way to their seats for the game.


Coop the Boomer's mascot made his appearance on a golf cart and got the crowd to their feet, but sadly, disappeared for most of the game. A few on-field promotions are offered in-between innings.


Neighborhood 2

Wintrust Field is located near residential units, a large parking lot, the Metra train station, and the Schaumburg Regional Airport. The airport inspired the first team’s name, Flyers, in 1999, and it is common to see small planes up above in the sky during a game.


If you have time before or after the game, the best option would be to visit the Woodfield Mall, located 15 minutes from the ballpark. The vast shopping complex houses various chain restaurants, including Texas de Brazil, PF Changs, Cheesecake Factory, and Kingsford BBQ.


A few local establishments include Lou Malnati’s and Giordano’s for a deep-dish pizza, Bulldog Ale House, Fox & Turtle, Global Brewing Tap House, and Pollyanna Brewing Company. Johnnie’s Beef is known for being one the best spots for Italian beef, and Blackwood BBQ and Steamboat BBQ would also be optional choices when in the area.

If you have time, Impact Field is not too far away on the other side of O’Hare Airport. The home of the Chicago Dogs is a fabulous way to enjoy a baseball weekend. The Allstate Arena is also close, and depending on when you are in town, might be able to check out a Chicago Wolves game in the American Hockey League.


Fans 3

It is not uncommon for many in the building to wear Boomers' gear, and attendance is near the top in the league each season. It is an active environment, especially on Saturdays when crowds hover over the 4,000 mark for fireworks night. Just like with other ballparks in the country, many are here for a fun night with friends and family.


Access 4

Wintrust Field is off I-355 and the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway, with plenty of signage directing motorists to the ballpark. A vast parking lot is aided by staff members directing cars into spaces, and the main entrance is the hub for almost all activity before the game. The area is congested but is an elevator to take fans to the concourse. If able to walk, two staircases lead you to the entrances of the stadium.


Return on Investment 3

The ticket prices are either $11 for a lawn seat or $14 for general admission. These prices are in line with the five other ballparks in Chicagoland, but lawn seats are slightly more expensive when compared to nearby Impact Field, where a similarly priced seat is $8.


However, the parking fee, so if coming solo, evens out in the end. Concession prices are also comparable, especially beer choices, and an on-field cap are only $20--however--sizes were limited during our visit, resulting in fans with larger heads out of luck for a souvenir.


Extras 3

The ballpark earns a point for free parking, the range of craft beer (including the Pollyanna tent), and seating behind the left-field wall.


Final Thoughts

It was my second time visiting Wintrust Field in well over a decade, and I liked it the first time, and I enjoyed it just as much the second time. It has everything you would want in the minor league ballpark that includes a pleasant atmosphere, a wide range of food and beverage, and a nice layout. It's an honest-to-goodness ballpark and worth checking out during any ballpark tours of the Chicagoland area.


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Follow all of Marc’s stadium journeys on Twitter @ballparkhunter and his YouTube channel. Email at Marc.Viquez@stadiumjourney.com


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