Northwestern Medicine Field
Review by Mike
Northwestern Medicine Field is the home of the Kane County Cougars of the American Association. I think that if the builders of Northwestern Medicine Field had worked just a little harder, they could have found a more obscure place to put the ballpark... maybe. This park is in the middle of nowhere, at least it was in 2002 when I visited. You get off the highway, drive for about five miles, turn into what appears to be an industrial park, and there's a baseball stadium.
The ballpark is nice enough, for what it is. It's a very basic grandstand, wrapping around the field from corner to corner. The lower half is comprised of seats with backs and the upper half is long, backed benches. There is a picnic pavilion beyond the right field fence, which was closed on this rainy May day.
The concessions are housed in long buildings behind the concourse down each line and a rectangular press box sits behind home plate. The crowd had a lot of kids, almost none of whom seemed to be watching the game. Instead they ran pell-mell about the concourse throwing balls at each other and trying to spill my Nachos Grande down the front of my jacket as I made my way back to my seat.
There were some kids activities, but strangely they were not in the park, but down a path behind the outfield fence, from which any parents unfortunately sent along could not see the game. Add to that the endless parade of redundant sound effects blaring from the speakers after every pitch, and this was not the most enjoyable of baseball experiences. I did like the trains that kept lumbering by beyond the left field fence, seemingly non-stop. Overall, though, this is a functional enough ballpark, providing adequately for all of its customers needs, but it sorely lacks in character or energy.