by Eric Peterson, Daily Herald
Schaumburg Boomers fans with a taste for something new certainly will be able to find it this season at the 20-year-old stadium.
At the top of several new dining and drinking venues -- literally -- is the Jim Beam Club in the former press box just behind home plate on the private suite level.
Like all the new offerings, the club represents an investment by the team itself as well as its corporate sponsors, rather than an expenditure for the village and the Schaumburg Park District, which co-own the stadium at 1999 Springinsguth Road.
Schaumburg Mayor Tom Dailly, who threw the first pitch at the home opener, said credit for the improvements probably most belongs to the Boomers' second-year General Manager Michael Larson.
"It looks good," Dailly said of the Jim Beam Club. "It's a great view, of course. This should go over very well."
While catering largely to suite holders, other patrons will have access to a limited number of $20 tickets to the club during each home game.
Jim Beam's parent company, Beam Suntory, recently moved its national headquarters to Chicago and has partnered with the Boomers on the club.
What once was a space exclusively for stadium announcers and the media now boasts leather bar chairs, high-top tables and a weathered-wood-clad bar.
Another new 21-and-over area at the ballpark is the tent-covered Pollyanna Cabana just beyond the concourse on the first base side, where locally brewed craft beers will be available to enjoy in a beer garden setting.
And the Rib Shack will serve a limited amount of barbecued ribs on a first-come, first-served basis at each game along with a rotating selection of such other items as pulled pork and brisket.
"I've wanted to add ribs to the stadium menu since I arrived," Larson said in a written statement. "But we had to make sure that the delivery plan was just right. We will not introduce anything new to the mix unless we know we can execute on delivery with quality and consistency."
Boomers Stadium also will be selling nachos served in a full-sized souvenir baseball helmet at the Walking Taco stand behind home plate, and allowing such helmets to be sold separately and refilled with popcorn all game long.
Beer options have been expanded for 2019, with such products as Michelob, Old Style and Goose Island joining the menu.
The team is also offering All You Can Eat Wednesdays at every Wednesday night home game except for July 3. For $10 per person, wristbands will be issued entitling fans to unlimited hot dogs, popcorn and peanuts.
Larson said the additions reflect the Boomers' desire to be a top entertainment venue in the region.
"We know that our fans have entertainment choices throughout the suburbs," he said. "With every game, we always want to make the experience even better than the game before. And I think we're achieving that."
For the 2019 Schaumburg Boomers schedule and information about other happenings at the stadium this season, visit the website at boomersbaseball.com.