Schaumburg plans $10.5 million upgrade to Boomers Stadium
Schaumburg village board members Tuesday joined their counterparts on the Schaumburg Park District board in endorsing a four-year, $10.5 million plan to upgrade the nearly 19-year-old baseball stadium the two governments co-own.
Still to be hammered out are some finer details of the funding plan as well as how to accommodate village Trustee Tom Dailly's request to move up the proposed winterization and kitchen upgrades of Schaumburg Boomers Stadium's Schaumburg Club to make it a sports-themed restaurant that can operate year-round.
"I think there's an opportunity here, much like Pilot Pete's at (Schaumburg Regional Airport)," he said.
While Dailly touted this as an idea that could help generate more revenue for the stadium earlier -- even at the cost of starting the phased replacement of all the seats a little later -- fellow Trustee Marge Connelly argued that improvement of the baseball-watching experience should come first.
The debate wasn't resolved Tuesday, but it isn't until the off-season after this one that the plan is expected to start.
Among the other changes under consideration are the replacement of the baseball stadium's natural grass with artificial turf to increase the number of events the stadium can host throughout the year.
Village Manager Brian Townsend said he did not immediately know the percentage of minor league and independent league baseball stadiums that currently use artificial turf, but he believes it is the general direction many are moving in.
The village plans to issue $5 million in bonds for the project next year, and another $5 million in 2020.
Though the park district's revenue sources are different -- primarily property taxes and program user fees -- both parties ultimately will split the cost of the improvements evenly as they have since the stadium opened in 1999.
The Schaumburg Boomers baseball team, which won the 2017 Frontier League championship and claims the largest average attendance in the league, pays about $100,000 in rent each season.
A consultant recommended $13 million in stadium upgrades last summer. Townsend said the current plan leaves some out, but they could still be considered beyond the next four years.
He added that the improvements themselves are not expected to cause ticket prices to rise and are being done to boost attendance.