The Village of Crestwood and the Windy City ThunderBolts are proud to announce that Standard Bank Stadium will greatly improve the fan experience at the ballpark with the addition of a new scoreboard/video board that will be fullly completed by August 1st. The highlight of the project will be the 13 foot high, 22 foot long HD video board that will have full video capabilities including instant replay. The new structure will help the Crestwood ballpark keep pace with other professional baseball facilities, not only the Frontier League, but in the country.
Some notes about the new video board and the ballpark...
- Standard Bank Stadium was built by, and is owned by the Village of Crestwood. The stadium was built for 6.5 million dollars and was fully paid off by 2005.
- The stadium opened in 1999 as Hawkinson Ford Field for the Cook County Cheetahs of the Frontier League. The Cook County Cheetahs changed their name to the Windy City ThunderBolts after an ownership change before the 2004 season. The ThunderBolts signed a 10 year lease in 2004 and a 15 year lease was signed this past winter. The ThunderBolts are the 2nd oldest team in the Frontier League.
- Standard Bank Stadium's intimacy and location is why the ballpark is active almost every day between the months of April and September. There is no other place like it on the southside of Chicago. The video board structure will keep the ballpark competitive against other ballparks for IHSA, NCAA, NAIA, and little league events.
- Since the ownership change in 2004, the ThunderBolts and the Village of Crestwood have had a fantastic relationship. The ThunderBolts pay the village annually to operate the facility. The village also operates the parking lots of the facility. The ThunderBolts are proud to call Crestwood home and help bring in hundreds of thousands of visitors to Crestwood each year.
- This structure will be the first major improvement to the stadium since it opened. The ThunderBolts were one of three teams in the Frontier League that did not have a video board. Standard Bank Stadium was also the only minor league ballpark in Illinois that did not have a video board. The structure is being paid for by an increase in village hotel taxes and advertising dollars raised by both the ThunderBolts and the village.
- The structure will be built by Kieffer & Co. out of Lincolnshire. It will include a brand new LED scoreboard that will have timing for other sports that could be held at the stadium in the future. The structure will also include a LED message center for event information. Finally the video board will have full HD color replays and video for holding special events such as "Movies in the Park."
- The first Crestwood Movie in the Park night will be the official unveiling of the new video board and will be held on Friday, August 1st. Admission is free and gates will open at 7 pm to play in the outfield grass and 8 pm to watch the movie.
- The current scoreboard/message board was built in 1998 and is the original scoreboard when the park opened. It uses incandescent light bulbs in the scoreboard. The message board also uses thousands of small incandescent bulbs (like Christmas lights). The old system malfunctions during rain storms and parts for the system are very difficult to acquire. Even with the new structure being larger, it will use 30% less elctricity then the old scoreboard did. The final day for the old scoreboard is July 3rd.
- The scoreboard and message board will be completed by the Monday, July 21st ThunderBolts' game and the video board will be ready for "Movie in the Park" on August 1st.
The Windy City ThunderBolts would like to thank the Village of Crestwood for this investment in their facility. This improvement will go a long way in keeping Standard Bank Stadium one of the premier baseball facilities in the State of Illinois. The ThunderBolts would like to individually thank Crestwood Mayor Lou Preta, Clerk Jeannette O'Donnell, Trustee Theresa Flynn, Trustee John Toscas, Trustee Dan Jurka, Trustee Anthony Benigno, Trustee Bill Pieroth, Trustee Linda Madlener, and Village Services Director Bill Graffeo.