New Schaumburg ball team signs lease
Schaumburg officials Tuesday signed an operating agreement with the owners of the still unnamed baseball team that will begin playing at Alexian Field next spring to replace the ousted Flyers.
The 10-year agreement became official just days before Friday's deadline for entries in a contest to name the team.
Those who submit nominations will be eligible for a prize drawing, though the team's management will make the final decision on the name -- whether it's among the submitted nominations or not.
Among the suggestions so far are the Schaumburg Airmen, Athletics, Aviators, Sky Hawks, Dingers, Elite, Flight, Rookies, Flys and 41s. The last refers to Schaumburg Township's original name of Township 41, while several of the others refer to the stadium's proximity to Schaumburg Regional Airport.
Other submissions include the Woodfield Maulers, the Woodfielders, the Schaumburgers, the CubSox, Heroes of 2012, the Kung-Fu Pandas and the Malls.
Alexian Field is jointly owned by the village of Schaumburg and the Schaumburg Park District.
Under the operating agreement, team owner Alan Oremus' company, E.J.I. LLC, will pay these landlords either $231,000 each year or 10 percent of the team's total gross revenue and net profit -- whichever amount is greater.
The team will also pay the ballpark owners $10,000 each year for the use of the stadium's parking lot.
For the stadium's naming rights beyond 2011 -- currently held by Alexian Brothers Health System -- the landlords will get the first $100,000 while the remainder will be divided between the team's 80 percent and the landlords' 20 percent.
Under a different company, Oremus is also principal owner of the new Joliet Slammers baseball team.
The Schaumburg Flyers, which began playing at Alexian Field in 1999, were evicted in February along with a court ruling that the team still owed $551,828.92 in overdue rent.
Though the village and park district had some problems getting paid in full and on time by the Flyers in recent years, that experience didn't have much influence on the drafting of the new agreement.
"In enforcing the lease, we plan to be more aggressive," Schaumburg Village Manager Ken Fritz said. "The original lease was adequate. It wasn't the lease that was the problem. It's when do you decide to pull the plug on something?"
Entries for the team-naming contest must be received by noon Friday at either email@example.com or Name the Team, P.O. Box 68694, Schaumburg IL 60168.
The grand prize winner will receive a luxury suite for 20 people on opening night, a customized team jersey, a part in the opening night first pitch ceremony and two season tickets for 2012.