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Official Review by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
The Chicago Bandits are a member of National Pro Fastpitch (NPF). NPF currently features six teams: USSSA Florida Pride, Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion, and the Houston Scrap Yard Dawgs. Each year, the playoff teams battle for the Cowles Cup.
The Chicago Bandits have been in existence since 2004. In 2015 the team won its third NPF championship defeating the Pride two games to none.
In 2011 the team moved into Rosemont Stadium, also referred to as the Ballpark at Rosemont. Previously the Bandits played at the softball field at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL.
The Chicago Bandits were the home team of one of the most famous softball players ever, Jennie Finch. The right-handed softball pitcher and first baseman from La Mirada, California won a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics and a silver medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics. In 2010, Finch retired from softball to raise a family with her husband, former Major League Baseball pitcher Casey Daigle.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
There is one basic concession stand at the stadium. The fare is the standard minor league baseball servings of hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, etc. Prices are fair and reasonable.
There are also some temporary food stands scattered around the concourse.
The food options won't wow you so try and eat your major meal before or after the game. The concession stand will do for snack type offerings, although a hot dog or nachos is never a bad idea.
The stadium is loud. Part of that is the noise from the incoming planes to Chicago's O'Hare Airport. It is also because of the lively crowd. The stadium design gets the fans engaged in the fast paced action.
The stands are filled with many young softball players and families. If you can imagine the crowd at your local minor league baseball stadium it is pretty much the same, but probably a few more young girls.
The stadium is just metal bleachers and seats. There is no shade in the seats so on a hot, sunny day the stadium will be extremely hot. I really enjoyed the right field bleacher seats, although they seem even hotter than anywhere else as you could be staring right into the sun.
O'Hare Airport is the most noticeable neighbor to Rosemont Stadium. It is fun to watch the planes come in on approach while watching the softball game.
There are many restaurants in the area since it is a busy suburb. The best of the bunch is probably Harry Caray's Restaurant, Culver's, Hofbrauhaus Chicago, and Potbelly Sandwiches.
MB Financial Park is a newly created entertainment district filled with entertainment and restaurants that is located nearby. A Muvico movie theater, Skyzone indoor skydiving, and Kings Bowling are just some of the options in this area.
The fans are very similar to ones that attend minor league baseball games. Families will usually have one member more interested than the rest of the group. But there are some knowledgeable fans attending each game. I was shocked by how many fans I saw wearing jerseys and gear for the Bandits.
There are usually lots of softball players, often in their youth team uniforms, attending the games to watch their heroes play the sport.
The stadium is literally right in the middle of a bunch of roads. The Kennedy Expressway and the Tri-State Tollway run right outside the stadium's fences. Mannheim Road and River Road are also right nearby. The stadium could be hard to find because the area is so busy, so look out for the Rosemont Dome located right next door. If you can get there you can find the stadium.
There is plenty of free parking at the complex.
Tickets are a reasonable $7.25 up to $16.25. They are $2 more on the day of the game, so buy them ahead of time.
One of the best parts about the stadium is the very open bullpen areas in which you can watch players and pitchers warm up before and during the game. The players are quite accessible and it is fascinating watching them do their work.
Also look out for the large Jennie Finch banner. Her importance to the sport of softball, both amateur and professional, cannot be overlooked. If only I could have witnessed her play a game here at Rosemont Stadium.
A visit to the Chicago Bandits and Rosemont Stadium is a great option for entertainment while in the Chicago suburbs. The high value and the great entertainment level makes this a great place to visit.
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10233 W Higgins Rd
Rosemont, Il 60018
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4200 N River Rd
Schiller Park, IL 60176