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  • Marc Viquez

Impact Field - Chicago Dogs


Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.57

Impact Field 9850 Balmoral Ave Rosemont, IL 60018

Chicago Dogs website Impact Stadium website


Year Opened: 2018 Capacity: 6,300


 


Chicago Dogs Making an Impact in Rosemont

The Chicago Dogs are members of the American Association and play at Impact Field, one of the slickest ballparks in independent baseball. It was constructed to entertain all who purchase a ticket as well as host a baseball game.

The spacious ballpark has seating for 6,300 and opened on May 25, 2018. The 60-million-dollar facility is the newest addition to the list of independent ballparks in the Chicago area and stands out in color, design, and creativity.

Fans will most likely not have to be reminded where they are with motorists on I-294 whizzing by in the distance, the giant Impact Field sign across the parking deck in right field, and a view of the fashion outlet stores behind the outfield walls. However, let’s find out what makes the ballpark one of the better-looking designs in recent years.

Food & Beverage 3

The price of concessions is also on par with other independent clubs in the metro area. The menu items are not super electric, but they are what one would expect while enjoying nine innings of baseball. The main concession stand offers jumbo hot dogs, Chicago hot dogs, cheeseburgers, chicken tender baskets, nachos, and soft pretzels. The prices range from $5 to $9.


The stadium features The Weiner’s Circle, a much tamer version than the one downtown. It sells its style of char dogs, brats, Polish sausages, and french fries. There is also Salsa that offers Mexican options of street tacos and nachos topped with carnitas and chicken. The nachos are large enough for two small kids and well worth the price of $10.


Coca-Cola products are available, and beer options include Miller-Coors brands. A cocktail cart behind the home plate offers mixed drinks of gin, tequila, whiskey, and vodka drinks.

Atmosphere 3

Impact Field has a design that is unlike many others in baseball. It features four separate buildings that make up the upper-level suites, party decks, and press box. The colors of metallic black, red, and steel gray offer an amazing combination not found at most baseball stadiums. However, the colors make it stand out from older facilities in the area.

Fans enter through the right-field corner of the stadium which also houses the main ticket booth and official team shop. The team store has plenty of merchandise from jerseys, caps, t-shirts, and stuffed dolls of the clubs’ mascots-Squeeze and Ketchup.

Squeeze is a bottle of mustard with a big nose and fur; his nemesis Ketchup is a bottle of ketchup with an evil smirk in a trenchcoat. What is shocking is the number of young fans that gather around them waiting for an autograph after they are introduced after the second inning. Squeeze gets the most attention, because mustard, not ketchup, belongs on a hot dog for anyone after the age of 10 years old.

There are many wonderful aspects of a Dogs game that include a double-sided video board that can be seen by up to 70 million motorists on I-294 on an annual basis. The left-field foul pole is 312 feet from home plate, a nod to the Chicago area code. The right field foul pole is 294 feet from home plate, a nod to the nearby interstate number.

The giant car deck serves as a spot for left-handed hitters to bounce homeruns off of it. The ballpark’s name is emblazoned across this area, but there is not too much happening below this area in the right field to the center field concourse.

The ballpark also offers high-top tables and chairs in many areas of the concourse, bleacher seating behind the right-field wall, and rail seating above the left-field wall. However, the ample space of Impact Field feels a little bit underutilized at times. There are many areas of the ballpark that are void of kiosks, party decks, or grass lawn seating.

Neighborhood 4

Impact Field is direct across the interstate from the Fashion Outlets of Chicago and a host of other entertainment options before or before the ballgame. The shopping mall features 130 designer outlets that are walkable from the ballpark, but one can drive and park in the mall’s multi-level parking deck.

The area also houses Hofbrauhaus Chicago for liters of beer and German food, Park Tavern which offers pub food including Cuban sandwiches and hand-cut fries, and Bub City for barbecue. Dave & Busters is also nearby for video games, large-screen televisions, and pub food options.

The Rosemont entertainment district offers a variety of options that include concerts, Zanies Comedy Club, iFLY (skydiving simulator), and the Big Ten interactive experience. Rivers Casino is a few miles north of the district for additional entertainment options.

A few local spots south of the ballpark and perhaps a little cheaper on your pockets are Short Fuse Brewing Company, Frannie’s Beef, and Gene and Jude’s. The latter establishment is a local institution that serves depression dogs, loaded with hand-cut fries for $3.49. You will have to stand up to eat them or enjoy that in your car.

Fans 3

The fans at a Dogs game are typical of what you would see at many other ballparks of this kind. They are out to enjoy a night out with friends, family, and co-workers for an inexpensive night out. However, I bumped into one fan who has season tickets with her husband and dress like a hot dog. She was more than happy to explain her allegiance to the ball club and how she rarely misses a game.

Access 5

Impact Field is accessible by both automobile and mass transit. It is located minutes away from O’Hare International Airport. Public transportation includes the CTA Blue line, and Metra commuter train stops off at the Rosemont station. A free trolley is provided by the Rosemont Entertainment Circulator Trolley that can take you to the ballpark.

If traveling by car, the stadium is visible off of I-294, and its exit is just south of the venue. A parking garage is behind the right field and charges $4 a car, but free if driving a Hyundai. There is additional parking that I have been told is free of charge across the street, but that hasn’t been confirmed.

Once inside, the wrap-around concourse provides easy access to all points of the ballpark, and the large outfield terrace area is void of the usual kiosks, seating, and party decks found at other stadiums. Games do not attract near-capacity crowds for most games, and fans can get around efficiently. The main entrance is at the right-field corner of the ballpark.

Return on Investment 3

The cost of a ticket will cost anywhere from $9 to $16 per game. The bleacher section seating in the right field is an ideal way to enjoy the game for under $10. The outfield reserve seats down each baseline are $12, and infield box seats behind home plate are $16. These prices are on par with a few other independent clubs in Chicago.

Extras 4

The Dogs earn a point for the stadium design that is not from your typical blueprint. It’s sleek, a bit futuristic, and possibly the class of the American Association. The second point is for the two mascots that are almost as popular as the players on the field. Squeeze and Ketchup barely have time to roam around the concourse due to young fans asking for an autograph.

A third point is for the racing pickle after the 6th inning that challenges any fan to a foot race from the left-field foul pole to center field. The final point is for the $3 parking lot, free if you are a Hyundai owner.

Final Thoughts

Impact Field is a fantastic-looking stadium and one that pushes the boundary for stadium design and aesthetics. The Chicagoland is a crowd with both major league and MLB partner league ballparks, and the Dogs provide a lot of fun and excitement with their branding, ticket pricing, and promotional nights.

However, it feels like there could be a lot more happening here during a game to create its own identity to nearby Schaumburg Boomers or even the Kane County Cougars. For such a magnificent ballpark with a great location, make coming to a Chicago Dogs game a must-event every game. It has the potential to be one of the best in the MLB Partner Leagues.

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



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