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Sears Centre

Hoffman Estates, IL

Home of the Chicago Mustangs

3.1

N/A

Sears Centre (map it)
5333 Prairie Stone Pkwy
Hoffman Estates, IL 60192


Chicago Mustangs website

Sears Centre website

Year Opened: 2006

Capacity: 8,362

There are no tickets available at this time.

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The Beautiful Game Indoors in Chicagoland

The Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois is the home venue for the Chicago Mustangs of the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL). The team played its first two seasons at the much smaller Grand Sports Arena where the capacity is 1,100 in the Professional Arena Soccer League, where they completed a perfect 16-0 championship season in 2013-14.

For the 2014-15 campaign the team relocated to the much larger 8,362 indoor arena off the I-90 toll road hoping to increase its public image in the crowded Chicagoland sports scene. The arena features 43-luxury suites, free parking for indoor soccer events, and modern amenities compared to the club’s former home.

The Sears Centre debuted on October 26, 2006, at a cost of $62 million. It has been home to a plethora of various indoor versions of soccer, football, lacrosse and minor league hockey. We’ve previously done reviews of the arena as a hockey venue with the Chicago Express and indoor football venues with the Chicago Slaughter. Most notably, the arena hosted both the Chicago Storm and Soul of the erstwhile Major Indoor Soccer League.

The sport of indoor soccer may not have reached a renaissance with the American fan as much as the outdoor the game, but the MASL debuted for the 2013-2014 season with 23 franchises from coast to coast. The Mustangs look to cement their status at the Sears Center and with the fans of Chicagoland.

3.1

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    2

There are two main concession stands that serve somewhat overpriced menu items that range from pizza ($7), nachos ($6.50), hamburgers ($6), hot dogs ($5.50), and bratwurst ($5.75). Beer prices are also a bit on the high side from $7-$9.50 a bottle. This is by means no fault of the Mustangs, but your best bet would be the chicken fingers and fries for $8. A Mexican staple of chicharones ($6) are also sold during the game. There are a few concession stands that are closed. In comparison with a few other arenas in the MASL, the prices are similar.

Atmosphere    3

The Sears Centre is a rather comfortable and cozy sports arena for the Mustangs. The seats are cushioned, somewhat flexible, and the aisles are wide. However, the main concourse is a little bit too dark and only a small portion of the arena is in use during the game, although this can be expected due to the size of the crowd at the games.

The other curiosity is the public announcer who makes announcements in both English and Spanish. He is not overzealous like many other PA announcers of indoor soccer and he lets the action on the field be the source of excitement for the fans. There is no loud blazing rock music, high pitch sound effects, or pleads to cheer for the home team during the game. There are a few announcements for the souvenir shop, which has an impressive array of multiple color Mustang shirts and jerseys. There is a flash of excitement, when the team scores, as announcer does his best to impersonate famed Mexican announcer Andres Cantor with an exuberant scream of "GOOOOOOOOOOAL!"

The team does not employ a mascot, but it was circus night during my most recent visit and there were more than a few colorful characters on display on the field from Spiderman, clowns, and a robot on stilts who lit up in copious colors. They were also available before the game on the concourse to entertain the kids near the bouncy house, ring toss, and other circus like games.

Neighborhood    4

Downtown Chicago is 25-miles away from the Sears Centre, and the surrounding area of Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg make up one of Chicagoland's greatest synergy of shopping malls, chain restaurants, and other places of commerce. You will need a car to get to many of these places, but it is an area where you can definitely spend a few hours before or after the game.

There is a multitude of options on where to eat, and Lou Malnati's should be on your list for their signature Chicago-style deep dish pizza. The Beer Market features an intense selection of beers on tap, while The Snuggery and Wickets Bar and Grill both have excellent pub food and affordable prices. The Snuggery offers poutine, but get there before the kitchen closes at 11 PM.

A few miles away by the interstate, are two brewpubs: Emmet's Brewing Company in Palatine and The Lucky Monk in South Barrington; a short drive, but worth your interest if you are a beer drinker.

If you want shopping, then IKEA, Cabela's, The Streets of Woodfield, and Woodfield Mall are examples of shopping destinations that attract patrons from the north in Wisconsin and south from Indiana.

Fans    2

With the exception of a group of five frenzied fans who banged a drum and yelled throughout the game, many in attendance were somber, but respectful. The look and feel of the crowd is more out of curiosity of the indoor game, rather than sheer dedication. There are a few supporters decked out in green and baby blue team t-shirts that, in a few years, may be rabid and dedicated fans. It's clear that this club is still gaining their following in the busy Chicago sports scene.

Access    5

The facility is visible off of I-90 and with plenty of signage to lead you into the parking lot. There is not a charge for parking and hats off to the Mustangs for not trying to gauge a few extra bucks from the customers. There are plenty of spots with 3,200 parking spaces.

Return on Investment    3

Tickets prices range from $13-$31 for single game tickets at the Sears Centre. The best bet would be to opt for either the premium lower level seating for $23 or the lower end seats for $13. The $13 price point is a great way to entice a friend to join you for a night out of the beautiful game played indoors.

Extras    3

The Mustangs get one point for not charging to park your car, another point for easy access in and out of the arena, and a third point for a great collection of official team merchandise that looks sharp.

Final Thoughts

I enjoy the game of indoor soccer and the sport itself has been alive since 1978 in various leagues and reincarnations. An arena like the Sears Centre is the perfect canvas for the smaller MASL and what perhaps could be the anchor team of a rather impressive facility.

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Local Food & Drink

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria  (map it!)

1 S Roselle Rd

Schaumburg, IL 60193

(847) 985-1525

http://www.loumalnatis.com/

The Beer Market  (map it!)

888 N Meacham Rd

Schaumburg, IL 60173

(847) 517-8300

http://the-beer-market.com/

The Snuggery  (map it!)

1540 N Roselle Rd

Schaumburg, IL 60195

(847) 519-7555

http://www.snuggerychicago.com/

Wickets Bar and Grill  (map it!)

601 N Martingale Rd

Schaumburg, IL 60173

(847) 619-1400

http://www.wicketsbarandgrill.com/

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