With more than a faint echo of the famous line from Field of Dreams, "if you build it, he will come," actor and baseball fan Kevin Costner announced that he has chosen the exurban Chicago town of Zion as the home of a new minor league baseball team and planned 8,000-capacity stadium.
From the AP:
Officials didn't announce the team's name or the exact location of the approximately 8,000-seat stadium in Lake County.
The team will come to Zion in 2010 and be part of the Northern League, which includes the Schaumburg Flyers in suburban Chicago.
Costner says Zion is the ideal location because of its "quaint and affordable setting."
State officials say the project will bring 300 jobs to the community of 25,000.
Costner's name has been synonymous with baseball since his roles in the films "Bull Durham" and "Field of Dreams" in the 1980s.
The as-yet-unnamed team "will be owned and run by the partnership Grand Slam Sports & Entertainment, LLC of Deerfield, IL," according to the group's site, lakecountybaseball.com. "Academy Award winner Kevin Costner is one of the primary owners of the team, and Rich Ehrenreich, the founder and long-time owner of the Schaumburg Flyers is the managing partner in the ownership group."
Listen to Costner talk about the team:
Watch Costner and James Earl Jones in the "People Will Come" scene from Field of Dreams:
The full release from lakecountybaseball.com:
(City Hall, Zion, IL) The City of Zion announces that it is bringing minor league baseball to a new stadium in Lake County, IL in the summer of 2010.
Academy Award winner Kevin Costner, whose lovable roles in the movies Field of Dreams and Bull Durham have forever linked him with baseball, is part of a baseball team ownership group that has been working with the City and one of the largest real estate developers in the world to bring a Northern League team to a new stadium only minutes northeast of Gurnee's Six Flags Great America and the Gurnee Mills Mall.
"I've seen many opportunities over the years to be involved in baseball projects, but this one is really special." says Costner. "The location, the people involved, and the chance to offer families in Zion and the surrounding communities a quaint and affordable setting for minor league baseball means everything. Like that unforgettable movie line says, 'This field, this game, is a part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good, and what could be again.' Play Ball!"
"This project is shovel ready, will provide 300 permanent jobs, and will be a catalyst to attract and maintain even more jobs in this part of Illinois," said State Senator Michael Bond (D-Grayslake). Senator Bond chairs the Illinois Strategic Infrastructure Task Force, a bi-partisan, bi-cameral committee which is coordinating projects related to the federal economic stimulus plan and an Illinois capital budget.
The Lake County stadium project will be managed and developed by Panattoni Development Company, which has developed over 150 million square feet of major commercial real estate projects throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe in the last 22 years. The baseball team will be owned and operated by Grand Slam Sports & Entertainment, LLC of Deerfield, IL.
The Northern League currently has area teams located in Schaumburg, IL, Joliet, IL, and Gary, IN, as well as in Kansas City, KS, Fargo, ND, and Winnipeg, Canada.
Details of the stadium location, design, and financing will be provided by the City and its project partners in the weeks to follow, along with the various employment opportunities for the 300+ permanent jobs that the stadium will generate.