Schaumburg's independent league baseball stadium originally was designed to evoke a feeling of the big leagues, and its new team's investment in a 450-square-foot video scoreboard is expected to enhance that feeling even more.
Pat Salvi, owner of the new Schaumburg Boomers, said the videoboard will display player stats, instant replays, shots of fans in the stands and sponsors' commercials just like in a major league stadium.
But the six-figure amenity won't affect affordability that makes minor league baseball a popular source of family entertainment, Salvi said.
"I really did feel a really nice scoreboard would reinforce the sense that this (team) is a new and improved product and a high-quality experience for the fans," Salvi said.
The high-definition videoboard will be 28 feet wide and 15 feet 11.2 inches tall. The scoreboard will sit below the videoboard and there will be room for four advertisers on the sides of the support structure.
Live footage will be fed by a camera behind home plate and at least one remote camera roaming the stadium.
It will be the latest enhancement in what's been a months-long upgrade of the stadium and grounds, including an extensive renovation of the field by the White Sox's renowned head groundskeeper Roger Bossard, aka "The Sodfather."
The stadium near the Metra station on Springinsguth Road was built by the village of Schaumburg and Schaumburg Park District in the late '90s.
Schaumburg Village Manager Ken Fritz said the landlords have been pleased by how much the Boomers have exceeded the requirements of their lease since they were selected to succeed the cash-strapped Schaumburg Flyers
"We think it's a great addition," Fritz said of the new videoboard. "It's another example of the team investing in the stadium and doing things right."
In fact, Fritz said the village had hoped the Flyers would have done something similar some time ago. In certain bigger markets, such equipment is coming to be expected at minor league stadiums.
Salvi, who also owns the Gary SouthShore RailCats in a different league, said he inherited a state-of-the-art scoreboard at that stadium when he bought the franchise in 2008.
While some minor league fields still sport a certain quaintness, Salvi thought Schaumburg's stadium called for something better.
The videoboard, which will be positioned behind the left field wall, is expected to be installed after winter passes. Opening Day of the Boomers' inaugural season will be on May 25.
Salvi said he's still looking for a company to purchase the stadium's naming rights, but feels no pressure to get that done this year. Former stadium sponsor Alexian Brothers Health System terminated its deal for naming rates last year.
"I want it to be the right fit and the right company," Salvi said.
Until then, he said he's happy for the ballpark to be known simply as "Boomers Stadium."