Dogs Dugout Pops Up At Outlet Mall
By MIRIAM FINDER ANNENBERG
While the official home dugout for the Chicago Dogs baseball team won’t open until May 2018, a dugout of a different kind is coming to Rosemont’s Fashion Outlets of Chicago.
The Chicago Dogs Dugout pop-up shop opened Thursday for fans looking to get their hands on some Chicago Dogs merchandise before the team’s inaugural season begins.
“The first mission is to use this as an opportunity to introduce ourselves and build fans,” said Chicago Dogs co-owner Shawn Hunter. “It’s an opportunity to introduce ourselves and educate people on the team.”
The pop-up shop remains open throughout the holiday season, offering Rosemont residents the chance to become acquainted with the team before it plays its first game in the village this spring.
With the announcement of the team coming just a few months ago, the Chicago Dogs are still getting to know the community, and vice versa. The shop serves as a physical point curious community members can go to for information.
“This is one of the best places to set up a shop and to really tell our story,” said Hunter. “I think people are very excited about a new baseball team coming.”
The shop will be open Wednesdays and Fridays from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Nov. 23 through Dec. 31, selling T-shirts, hoodies, long sleeve shirts, hats and more.
Representatives from the team will be on site throughout the shopping season, answering questions and giving residents the opportunity to learn more before the baseball season begins. Hunter said potential fans are interested in learning more about the team, the league, how many games they’ll play and ticket prices.
“One of the greatest elements of our Chicago Dogs brand is our affordability,” Hunter said.
While the pop-up aims to draw and educate fans from throughout the area, Hunter said they are also interested in fostering a fan base right here in Rosemont.
“The citizens of Rosemont are getting to know us each day a bit better,” he said. “We’re very proud that Rosemont’s our home.”
Shortly after the pop-up shop closes in late December, the Chicago Dogs will open their online store for selling official merchandise. Once Impact Field is finished, a team store will open within the ballpark, as well.
Until that time, Hunter said the team officials will continue to seek out opportunities like the pop-up shop that help the team get its name into the community.
The Chicago Dogs officially kick off their home season on May 25, at which point the new Impact Field at the intersection of Balmoral Avenue and Pearl Street in Rosemont will be completed. In the months leading up to the first game, Chicago Dogs officials will be offering tours of the new stadium, showing fans around before the team steps up to the plate.
The Chicago Dogs are part of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.