Chronological Tour: Stop 80

The (Former) Fourth Fifth Third

Home plate entrance to Elfstrom Stadium, Aug-2006.

Another look at the expansive, and well-used, grandstand at Elfstrom.

Looking out from home plate.

Quick Facts: Rating: 3 baseballs
Back in 1995, when I first got to Elfstrom Stadium, the outfield only contained bleachers, in which I sat and roasted on a day on which they drew over 9,400 to a park that officially seated just 5,900.

I got back in 2006 to take new photos and visit a Cougars pitcher. While the park was starting to look old and had taken on something of a plain-Jane appearance to these jaded eyes, and the concourses appeared just a bit narrow, the Cougars were still drawing tremendously in this western-edge suburb of Chicago.

In 1998, despite their “officially” small size (then 5,900 capacity), the Cougars finished a very close third in the Midwest League attendance race to the West Michigan Whitecaps and the Lansing Lugnuts. The Cougars drew over 480,000 spectators that season. Just the weekend before I made my return trip, they had 14,000 and 10,000 for Saturday and Sunday games.

For the 2012 season, the Cougars sold naming rights to the ballpark to Fifth Third Bank, making this stadium the fourth (and third in the Midwest League) to bear that financial institution’s name. The complex has been renamed the Philip B. Elfstrom Events Center. Elfstrom was the president of the Kane County Forest Preserve, owner of the land on which the county built the ballpark.

Naming rights have shifted once again for 2017; the club has inked a deal with Northwestern Medicine, a chain of hospitals and health care facilities affiliated with Northwestern University, that will keep their name on the facility at least through 2021.

Game # Date League Level Result
172 Sun 6-Aug-1995 Midwest A Quad City 9, KANE COUNTY 7
832 Mon 7-Aug-2006 Midwest A KANE COUNTY 4, Peoria 1
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This page updated 6-Dec-2016