Everyone’s talking about Wrigleyville, yet no one’s talking about baseball.
So direct your attention to the other side of Chicagoland, where the suburb of Rosemont has been cooking up something that’ll change your summer fortunes for the better.
Talking about the city’s new minor-league baseball team, the Chicago Dogs, and Impact Field, the new $60-million, 6,300-seat ballpark they call home.
Home opener? May 25th.
We’ve got the full rundown of what to expect, from the second location of one of Chicago’s most iconic hot dog stands to minor league promotions galore.
Impact Field is in Rosemont, but Rosemont is conveniently located
Wrigleyville might be this year’s banner transformation story, but in the past few years, neighboring suburb Rosemont has gone through a metamorphosis of its own. Impact Field joins a lively complex that includes the Fashion Outlets of Chicago and Parkway Bank Park, the 200,000-square-foot entertainment district spread across 13 venues, not to mention the Murray brothers’ new Caddyshack restaurant. It’s a quick drive down the expressway, and the ballpark’s proximity to 294 makes it an easy car ride, or even better: just take the Blue Line up to the Rosemont stop.
Wiener’s Circle’s second location. Enough said.
If the fact that Impact Field is home to the Wiener’s Circle’s second location doesn’t entice, you need to A) question your love for char-dogs, and B) question your Chicagoness. Expect a much more family-friendly environment than the profanity-laced late-night atmosphere of the original Lincoln Park stand. And if that wasn’t enough, the team will celebrate “Wiener Wednesdays” during every Wednesday home game this summer, changing its name to “The Chicago Wieners” and play in specially-branded uniforms with a #NoKetchup logo.
As it goes in the minor leagues, the promotions are fantastic.
It’s conventional wisdom that minor-league ball clubs get very creative when it comes to bumping up attendance. While it’s anyone’s guess what kind of promotions the Chicago Dogs will offer, we do know their daily “specials” go from $2 domestic drafts (Brewsday Tuesdays) and giveaway items (Fan Fridays) to post-game fireworks every Saturday. All in, the Dogs will play 50 homes games between Memorial Day and Labor Day, so plan accordingly.
Have you seen the merch yet? It looks great.
Let’s be honest: the joy of sporting “Chicago Dogs” gear is you don’t have to be an actual baseball fan to get it. For now, the team’s merch is limited to a hat, T-shirt and hoodie, but the selection should grow with time. Either way, wouldn’t you want a first-edition ball cap? With the online store currently under wraps, the best place to score one is going out and supporting the team.
But seriously, the ballpark is incredible.
It’s not often new ballparks are built, especially in a city that already has two major-league teams. But when it comes to Impact Field, the only thing minor about it are the ticket prices. The ballpark was built to cater to the fan experience, with an emphasis on group areas: there are six signature party decks, including a field-level “fan experience” suite that fits up to 60 and offers access to the ballpark’s batting cages. Other notable park amenities include a 360-degree concourse for leisurely jaunts and a Kids Zone replete with immersive pitching and hitting interactives and a simulated run from home plate to first base. As for seats, there’s not a bad one in the house — even the bleacher seats have backs. All this makes for one of the most exciting sporting openings the city has scene in recent memory.