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  • Writer's pictureMarc Viquez

Legacy Fields - Lake County Corndogs


Photo by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43

Legacy Fields 851 Center Ross Rd Crown Point, IN 46307

Year Opened: 2009 Capacity: 600

 

Have a Corndog & a Smile

The Lake County Corndogs are one of the newest members of the Northern League. The club is privately owned and is looking to make an impact with fans outside the city of Chicago in The Region. The team calls Legacy Fields home and has turned it into an experience that will offer fans concessions, beer sales, entertainment for the kids, and music.


The Corndogs name was chosen from a combination of a couple of area staples: corn stalks growing in the area and the local high school Bulldogs nickname. The name fits in well with the landscape of organized baseball, and the team provides a chance for fans to enjoy the game without traveling north to Chicago.


The Northern League was formerly known as the Midwest Collegiate League until 2021. The name was used by two minor-league outfits, the first 1902-1971. The second was an independent loop and operated from 1993-2010. The new version has six teams located in the Chicago area with hopes of expanding in the future to other nearby locations.



Food & Beverage 3

There is a concession stand and a beer garden at the ballpark. The food options include nachos, walking tacos, hot dogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, popcorn, and pretzels. Of course, there are corn dogs for $2. The prices are reasonable, with most options between $2-$4 an item.


The beer garden is sponsored by the local Off the Square Brewery. They provide three beers: a fruited golden ale, an IPA, and a golden ale made especially for the ball club. The Golden Batter Ale was suggested by fans who were looking for a lighter beer to enjoy during a game. Management listen and the brewery produced the summer drinking ale. They are $6 for a 20-ounce can, and a souvenir cup is an extra $2. If you are not a fan of beer, you can choose a variety of White Claws.


Atmosphere 3

The complex has two fields and serves as home to the local Babe Ruth League. It feels more like a facility for youth league baseball. However, the Corndogs have been able to turn into their friendly confines for baseball. The club can transform a few areas for a standard summer collegiate experience.


A double-decker press box offers more than enough space for radio and staff purposes and features aluminum bleachers behind the home plate. There are more seating options down each baseline for fans. At the bottom of the press box, a concession area faces the main entrance.


Cornelius the Corndogs is new for 2023 and he is a slick-looking mascot. He dances on the field, runs with the kids in-between innings, and is mobbed by young fans throughout the game. There is also a kid's zone in the large grassy area down the right-field line.


The sound system is clear and loud enough for the various in-between gimmicks that include TV theme song trivia, the after-7th inning stretch for kids, and hula hoop competitions. Kids also chase foul balls and can bring them home as souvenirs. The concession stand orders move quickly but get the pizza before it sells out for the night.


A shelter serves as the Beer Garden sponsored by Off The Square Brewing between the two fields. Fans entering the area need a wristband to enjoy a beer and is packed for weekend games. A small table offering concessions is next door offering t-shirts, adult and youth caps, and other collectibles from stuffed animals to mini baseball bats.


Neighborhood 4

Legacy Fields is 1.5 miles from the downtown square of Crown Point. There are multiple restaurants to choose from that including the following establishments: Ricochet Tacos, Tavern on Main, Green is Good by Kate, True BBQ and Whiskey Bar, and Twelve Islands. Crown Point Brewing and Off the Square Brewing are two local options for craft beer.


Closer to the ballpark is Pop’s Italian Beef & Sausage, which is home to The Godfather, a breaded steak sandwich dipped in tomato sauce and served with mozzarella cheese and peppers. They have other options as well, but this regional chain is among my favorites.


Crown Point is close to two other ballparks: Oil City Field and US Steel Yard in Gary. Oil City Stadium is home to the rival NW Indiana Oilmen and is worth a visit in downtown Whiting, while the Railcats play in Gary, bringing in large crowds on weekends. The Northern League also has ball clubs located in The Region at Highland, Griffin, and Hammond. Guaranteed Rate Field is not too far away from the area and is easy to get to by a car for a Chicago White Sox game.


Fans 4

The Corndogs have created a nice fan base during its first season in town. The small ballpark doesn’t feel empty. The atmosphere is similar to other summer collegiate leagues at this level. Compared to a few other venues in the league, the attendance and crowd rejection is a nice change of pace. There are a lot of kids chasing foul balls, friends, and family having a few laughs, and proper cheers for home runs and runs scored.


Access 3

Legacy Fields is located a few miles west of I-65 and accessible by GPS on your phone. The closest exit is the 109th Street exit. The field itself is easy to move around, with three sets of bleachers surrounding the ball field.


Return on Investment 3

The price of a ticket is $8 for an adult and $6 for children, concession prices are no more than $4, beer is $6, and parking is free. The crowd is usually festive, and kids’ activities take place in between innings. The downtown square in Crown Point is worth having dinner or a drink before or after the game.

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Extras 4

The Corndogs earn points for having a beer garden with a local and affordable beer. The club also does a great job of promotions and in-between gimmicks at the game. They make the small ballfield a nice place for a baseball game. Cornelious is a welcome sight at the ballpark, adding excitement for the kids


Final Thoughts

The Corndogs management has the right ideas for their ballclub and looks to add a few new features in the future. The stadium offers a small-town feel with plenty of affordable options at the concession stand and beer garden. If the Northern League is looking to make an impact in the area, teams like the Corndogs will lead the way.


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Follow all of Marc’s stadium journeys on YouTube @ballparkhunter, Twitter @ballparkhunter, and Instagram.



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