Impact Field – Chicago Dogs
Making an Impact in Chicago
Impact Field, located in Rosemont, Illinois, just off of the I-294 expressway, officially opened on May 25, 2018. The stadium is the new home to Chicagoland’s newest minor league team, the Chicago Dogs of the American Association. The Dogs become the sixth minor league team in the area but possess perhaps the most up-to-date facility.
The stadium, which was built at a cost of $60 million, offers a very intimate, yet spacious, setting with a seating capacity of 6,300. Impact Field is a great ballpark with excellent vantage points, comfortable seating, an array of food and beverage options, and a fun atmosphere located in Rosemont’s nightlife and entertainment district.
One novel aspect of the stadium is the double-sided scoreboard, which allows tens of thousands of cars to know the score as they drive by on the expressway.
Food & Beverage 4
With six concession stands, including The Weiner’s Circle, a Chicago institution, and several concession kiosks around the 360-degree concourse, a fan is never at a loss for options.
The main concession stands, which span between first and third base, are each specific to a certain style or type of food (e.g., pizza, Mexican, grilled). To complement these, several concession carts, serving various other food items, are found down the left field line in the outfield, as well as in the right field concourse (the latter if attendance is high).
Stadium Journey tip – if the lines are long at the main concession stands (which they can be at times), head to the right field concourse. There you will find concession carts with very short wait times. Mixed in are various stands that serve beer and cocktails. Most of the concession stands have televisions showing a live feed of the game, allowing fans to watch while they are waiting in line.
Traditional ballpark food such as burgers and hot dogs can be found at the Flash Point Grill on the third base side of the park. On the first base side, close to home plate, are Salsa, where a fan can purchase tacos, nachos, and rice bowls; while next door at Pies, personal sized pizza is offered. As you go down the first base side toward right field, you will find a stand called Sweet, which offers a variety of desserts such as soft serve ice cream, floats, and cake.
Two more stands are found down the right field line; the most famous being The Weiner’s Circle, a long time hot dog institution found in Chicago, has its second location at Impact Field. For local fans, do not worry, as this location is more of a family-friendly venue, so don’t bother asking for a “chocolate shake.”
The major soda brand is Coca-Cola, which is served up fountain style in the concession stands and via 20 oz bottles at the mobile carts on the concourse. Miller-Coors products, such as Miller Lite, Coors Light, Blue Moon, and some Leinenkugel’s brands are available throughout the ballpark. There is a cocktail cart just behind home plate that serves up gin, tequila, whiskey, and vodka drinks.
Impact Field is a single concourse ballpark with a complete 360-degree access around the whole park. Seats are laid out in grandstand style, with bleacher seating (with seat backs) in right field, and high top tables and chairs for standing room options in left field. The concourse is very wide, allowing for free flow of traffic, even on crowded game days. There is an upper level that includes suites and party decks for group outings.
The dimensions will make any local smile with pride. The left field foul pole sits at 312 feet from home plate, an obvious homage to the most popular area code related to the city of Chicago. The right field pole is at 294 feet, which pays respect to Interstate 294 which runs just beyond left and center field.
With the interstate running along the ballpark, a fan will notice the uniqueness of the scoreboard in left field – it’s double-sided, allowing cars passing by to know the score of the ball game. While the scoreboard is of decent size for scores and stats, replays are rarely shown, and a fan has to look very carefully to find the pitch count as it sits in a very narrow row in the middle of the scoreboard.
Another feature a fan may notice are the stadium lights. With its close proximity to O’Hare International Airport, with planes landing and taking off overhead, the stadium lights point “down and in” instead of “up and in” or “straight in.” For fans in the outfield, you may even hear an opposing player ask his teammate “hey, what’s up with the lights?” Feel free to let him know!
The Dogs have an emcee between innings leading the in-game entertainment with various fan interactive games and contests. Throughout the game, the main mascot, Squeeze, a bottle of mustard, roams the stadium interacting with fans; while his “arch enemy,” a bottle of ketchup, does the same. For non-Chicagoans, putting ketchup on a hot dog is a big no-no.
Down the left field line, young fans will find an area perfect for them. Here they will find a bounce house, temporary tattoo stands, and an experience where one can time their speed from home to first.
Stadium Journey tip – make sure to spend time in the right field bleachers or concourse as the sun is setting. The view of the planes landing and taking off, with the glow of the sunset in the background, is very picturesque.
Impact Field is in the entertainment and nightlife district of Rosemont. The park is surrounded by a wide array of restaurants, bars, hotels, and shopping with the Fashion Outlets of Chicago, a mall featuring over 130 designer outlet stores. The area is considered to be very safe, and while highly trafficked, is definitely walkable.
There are places next to the park as well as in the entertainment district for fans to choose from pregame. Inside the Crowne Plaza Hotel is Bill and Joel Murray’s Caddyshack themed bar and restaurant. Within the district are local establishments and national chains. These include Bub City, known for its great barbeque and country music scene, and Park Tavern on the local front. The food and energy at Bub City for some postgame enjoyment is highly recommended.
Rosemont’s entertainment district offers fans of all ages a variety of options, whether it be free concerts or fitness at the district or the various venues in the area. Zanie’s Comedy Club, iFly (a skydiving simulator), and the Big Ten interactive experience in the Big Ten Headquarters, all offer additional avenues to stay entertained. For those who prefer table and card games, Rivers Casino is located minutes away from the ballpark.
A lot of the fan experience will be driven by the team and their in-game entertainment, activation of sponsorships, and of course, the play of the team on the field. The park itself is definitely ripe for a great overall fan experience, but with all things in sports, a greater atmosphere comes with near sellout crowds.
Crowd noise is not that loud, but in a way, it makes it great for an intimate setting such as Impact Field. The lack of constant noise allows fans to overhear conversations that are taking place on the field between players at times. While mainly in the outfield section, the lack of noise also allows fan and player interaction during the game, thus enhancing the overall experience of attendance. All that said, the crowd is definitely engaged in the game and following the action.
Located minutes from O’Hare International Airport, a public transportation train station with a free shuttle, and right off of a major expressway, Impact Field is easily accessible to get to regardless of the mode of transportation. Additionally, once in the park, the wide, 360-degree concourse, and spacious amenities lend itself to being very accessible for all fans.
Public transportation to Impact Field is a very good option. Both the CTA Blue line and the Metra commuter train stop off at the Rosemont stop. The CTA is $2.25 if coming from the direction of the city and $5 if coming from O’Hare Airport. Metra fare varies based on what zone you are starting from.
From there, free transportation is provided via the Rosemont Entertainment Circulator Trolley. Upon leaving the station, look for signage as to where to pick up the trolley (which is really a bus). As the bus makes a few stops before a drop off to Impact, if pressed for time, an Uber or Lyft is approximately $7.
A parking garage adjacent to the park, where fans are able to park and exit the garage is just feet from two gates. Fares are $3 per vehicle, and with two entrances and exits, the flow of traffic in and out is very much free-flowing.
A fan would be hard pressed to find a ballpark that is as easy to maneuver around than Impact Field. The park features a very wide concourse around the entire field, great flow of traffic in and out of the very clean restrooms, and great views of the field of play from anywhere on the concourse.
Return on Investment 5
With its low ticket prices, accessibility, and great vantage points around the park, Impact Field is an extremely great sporting experience value. The cost of a ticket ranges from $8 to $14, and it is $3 for parking and $2.25 for public transportation to the Rosemont train stop, with a free shuttle to the park.
Additionally, tickets for the Rivers Stadium Club, which includes a premium buffet meal, are $100 per ticket. For a night game, spend time in the right field bleachers to get a view of the planes landing and taking off with the glow of the sunset in the background. Wednesday is Weiner Wednesday which, for $16, gets a fan a hot dog, beer or soda, and a game ticket.
Impact Field receives a point for its double-sided scoreboard that serves as a billboard for the passing motorists off the interstate.
Impact Field receives the second point for its affordable parking of $3, in the city of Chicago and the surrounding communities, this is a steal and among the least expensive places to park for a professional sporting event in the area.
Impact Field receives the third point for the team owner, Shawn Hunter, walking around the concourse during the games. He is very friendly and engaging, so feel free to stop to chat him up about the team, the stadium, and even Stadium Journey.
Impact Field is a great ballpark with excellent vantage points, comfortable seating, an array of food and beverage options, and a fun atmosphere.
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Hyatt Place Chicago/O’Hare Airport
6810 Mannheim Rd
Rosemont, IL 60018
Latest Crowd Reviews
A wonderful stadium but something&#039s missing. I would equate it to moving into a mansion and not having all your furniture delivered.
Pros-wide open concourse, bold lettering, inexpensive parking, lots close to stadium entrance, great team colors, and innovative ballpark design, and close to shops, restaurants, and other forms of entertainment. Cons-lack of craft beer, not much in food variety, no shade, a lot of open space in the outfield not being utilized at the moment. I am sure things will change in the future, the place has a lot of potential.