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Kevin Costner planning to bring more minor league baseball to northern suburbs

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In the 1989 film "Field of Dreams" Kevin Costner's character Ray Kinsella, prompted by ominous assurance that "people will come," builds a baseball field in the middle of nowhere.

Zion, Ill. isn't exactly the middle of nowhere, but Costner is certainly hoping people will come to the 8,000-capacity minor league baseball stadium he and others are planning to build there.

A Northern League expansion team will call the as-yet-unnamed stadium home. Construction on the stadium is slated to begin this summer with the goal of getting a team on the field for the 2010 season.
According to the Web site, "The team will be owned and run by the partnership Grand Slam Sports & Entertainment, LLC of Deerfield, IL. 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."

The team will play in the independent Northern League, which has teams in Schaumburg, Joliet, Gary, Ind., Kansas City, Kan., Fargo, ND, and Winnipeg, Canada.

Season ticket reservations will be available in about a month, according to the Web site.

In addition to "Field of Dreams," Costner has also starred in the baseball-themed movies "Bull Durham" and "For Love of the Game."

Any ideas for team names?

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This is all we need in Chicagoland - another minor league franchise....

Clearly nobody in northern Illinois is interested in minor league baseball. If they were, the seats at 333 W. 35th Street would get filled more often.

Can't they just move the Cubs up there? Nobody would notice any difference between them and any minor league club.

Did anyone ask the citizens of Zion if they wanted this? I know they did not ask me! I do not need this in my backyard. Typical of Zion to throw something down the throat of the taxpayers that will have to pay for their mess!!

More at:

Since 1999, Schaumburg taxpayers have been forced to give nearly $20 million to build a stadium and assist the operation of the Schaumburg Flyers Professional Baseball corporation. Area residents and businesses also have had to make up the multi-million-dollar property tax exemption granted to the stadium.

It should come to no surprise that Richard Ehrenreich has made a fortune from this lavish corporate welfare and special tax breaks. A report in Satisfaction Magazine in October 2006 stated “Ehrenreich’s 1999 investment of just over $1 million may well be worth $8 million to $10 million today.”

Ehrenreich has an extensive track record of not paying vendors, employees, the Schaumburg Park District, or the Village of Schaumburg on time. Why do the Schaumburg village board and Mayor Al Larson continue to soak us for a deadbeat business owner getting rich on the taxpayers’ dime? Let's hope Zion doesn't repeat Schaumburg's mistakes.

"Zion isn't exactly in the middle of nowhere"?

It's not???

Kevin Replies: Just ask Local H.

Zion is a city in Lake County, Illinois. The population was 22,866 at the 2000 census, and estimated at 24,303 as of 2005. The city was founded in July 1901 by John Alexander Dowie. Zion is located at 42°27′12″N 87°50′25″W / 42.45333°N 87.84028°W / 42.45333; -87.84028 (42.453221, -87.840222). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.2 square miles (21.2 km²), all of it land.

Local H is an American rock band, formed by Scott Lucas (lead vocals, guitar, bass) and Joe Daniels (drums) in Zion, Illinois in 1987. S. Lucas and J. Daniels began playing together while attending their Zion, Illinois high school in 1987.

Linda S.

What's wrong with the man realizing his dreams, and helping others realize theirs? If Kevin wants to do this, I say go for it; I'll even help him. The youth of today (and some of you older folks), need this type of positivity. Baseball is a thinking man's game, and perhaps this venture will produce some talent that will bring both of our major league clubs some success. We can blame the coaches and management all we want, but our success will always eventually come down to the players.

I can't believe Costner did any research on Erenreich in my opinion the guy is a scumbag who doesn't pay his bills and just about everyone he has done business with thinks the guy is an idiot. He has been screwing Schaumburg royal for the past 10 years.

This has the potential to be a very positive thing for Zion. If those of you who are whining don't want to reap the benefits, then move out!

I am very excited about this. I think the purposes for this and the benefits from this far outweigh our imaginations! A Good thing! Go for it!

I was very excited to to hear about a new team coming to Zion. The Kane County Cougars do a great job but they are quite a distance. Then, I found out this is connected with Rich Ehrenreich. How sad. Didn't Costner's accounting team do their background checks? Ehrenreich has a history of making his vendors carry his paper and have to beg for a check. His employee turnover rate is outrageous, and I'm not just talking about interns. Does anyone remember the pushing match he had with the vendor he hired to run his food concessions? What were they thinking? Has anyone figured out how many people and business that Ehrenreich will harm if he is allowed to do this again? Great idea but throw the bum out.

I live in Zion, and to those with negative feedback I can only say this;"Huh?". Beggars can't be choosers, and we're beggars! Regardless of it,s potential, our town has too many renters and not enough owners. For all of it's efforts, including the wonderful improvements on the Sheridan Rd. business district, our town is devoid of attractions. The new Walmart is a big deal!!! Just an observation, but since the closing of the nuclear power plant property taxes have spiked. We have to reinvent our town. A beautiful new ball park across the street from a terrific municipal golf course in Sheppard's Crook can only enhance the communities interest and reputation. Professional minor league baseball is affordable family entertainment. Let's give our expansion team the support it's going need and give it a chance. Waukegan lost any hope of attaining the the last casino license,("jobs and revenue we needed, nice job guys!") due to the Cellini connection ("yikes!!"). The "real" northern suburbs need help. There's a couple hundred thousand of us up here. Let's think outside the box a bit folks. It's an opportunity. Great job Mayor, and thank you to Kevin Costner and all involved!!!

The Kane County Cougars do do a great job. There is no way I'm supporting Erenreich. I'd rather drive another 20 minutes, see better baseball, a better show and know that my money is going to good business people. Plus, they paid for their new luxury suite level expansion on their own... no public money. GO COUGARS!

I love Costner, but dealing with Erenreich is a worse move than making Water World.

All I know is my son who worked all summer for this scumbag in the heat and in the rain has recieved two bad checks totaling about $1200.00! Kevin Costner should have maybe checked in to Rich Ehrenreicht! The way I look at it they took advantage of the kids they got to work all summer, you can't tell me they didn't know that the money was NOT in the bank when they wrote the first check let alone the second (which was the replacement check)! I believe writing bad checks is crime and MR. Ehrenreicht needs to be held accountable! Wake up Lake county and charge him with the crime he committed!

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This page contains a single entry by Kevin Allen published on February 3, 2009 11:48 AM.

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