By: Diane Turner-Hurns
Journal & Topics Reporter
Over six months since a massive storm brought down Rosemont’s Dome at the Ballpark, the indoor sports facility will finally be back in business this weekend February 13-14 with a girls volleyball tournament.
“It took a lot of work and we still have a lot to do, but we’re open,” Dome Executive Director Frank Cargola told the Journal & Topics Monday. “In addition to our staff, we had people from Public Works, Allstate Arena, the Convention Center and more help us get the new inflatable dome up and operational.”
The dome’s new roofing fabric, about 565-ft. in length and 250-ft. wide, was recently delivered to Rosemont and laid out on the dome site. However, winter weather ensued causing ice to cover the material before it could be inflated. Workers took a few weeks to carefully clear the ice from the new roof amid additional ice, snowstorms and freezing temperatures before it could be inflated.
On Jan. 25, Dome staff noted on their Facebook page, “We are excited to have the Dome back up and thankful for the crews that put in long days in the cold to help us get closer to re-opening.”
After this weekend’s volleyball tourney featuring 180 teams from the Midwest and as far away as Montreal, the Dome’s first major softball tournament of the season is set for February 19-21.
The Dome is an air-supported structure, which must be pressurized so that the internal pressure equals or exceeds any external pressure being applied to the structure. It is located immediately west of The Ballpark at Rosemont, south of Balmoral Avenue. The Dome contains two baseball diamonds and supporting facilities and is 75 feet high.