|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2008)|
|Former names||O'Brien Field (2002–2013)|
|Location||730 Southwest Jefferson Street
Peoria, IL 61605
|Broke ground||August 16, 2001|
|Opened||May 24, 2002|
|Owner||Peoria Chiefs Community Baseball LLC|
|Operator||Peoria Chiefs Community Baseball LLC|
|Surface||Sod (1–1¼ inches)|
|Construction cost||$23 million
($30.2 million in 2014 dollars)
|Services engineer||Clark Engineers MW Inc.|
|General contractor||River City Construction LLC|
|Main contractors||Prairie Construction Systems Inc.|
|Field size||Left Field: 310 ft (94.49 m)
Left Center: 375 ft (114.3 m)
Center Field: 400 ft (121.92 m)
Right Center: 375 ft (114.3 m)
Right Field: 310 ft (94.49 m)
|Peoria Chiefs (MWL) (2002–present)
Dozer Park, formerly O'Brien Field, is a baseball field located in downtown Peoria, Illinois. It is the home of the Peoria Chiefs, the Class A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals; the Chiefs previously played at Meinen Field. The college baseball team of Bradley University also uses the field. It opened on May 24, 2002.
Official groundbreaking ceremonies for the $23 million multi-purpose stadium took place on August 16, 2001. The stadium opened on May 24, 2002 as O'Brien Field, with a game between the Chiefs and the Kane County Cougars.
The Peoria Chiefs became financially troubled. In April 2013, the Chiefs, including the stadium, received $7.35 million in financing and debt forgiveness. The plan included forgiveness of $1.2 million in debt to the City of Peoria; $250,000 more from Bradley University than was being paid before for the Bradley Braves baseball team to use the stadium for 10 years; and $2 million in funding from Caterpillar Inc. for naming rights over 10 years; and $2.7 million in new investment of cash and equity by the Chiefs' ownership group of about 50.
Dozer Park's sod has an 8-inch (200 mm) deep root zone of 90% sand and 10% Dakota peat for nutrition. The high concentration of sand naturally relieves soil compaction.
Beneath the sand and peat mix are 6 inches (150 mm) of gravel. Running through the gravel are drainage tiles that run from home plate to center field. A huge sump pump beyond center field then drains into the city sewer system.
The makeup of the pitcher's mound and batter's boxes are almost 100% clay because it packs better and holds moisture well. The rest of the infield skin area is around 80% clay and 20% sand.
The field will hold up to 5 inches (130 mm) of rain an hour.
The field is mowed every day during homestands, trimmed to 1–1 1⁄4 inches (25–32 mm) high. It takes less than an hour to cut the outfield grass with a 72-inch (1.8 m) cut mower. A walk-behind mower is used for the infield.
The price tag for the field itself was around $450,000.
Dozer Park accommodates 20 luxury suites. Examples include:
- Peoria attorney Jay Janssen’s suite — "A large, ornate Oriental rug covers most of the green-carpeted suite, which includes six candelabra wall sconces, a chandelier in the center, cherry wood cabinetry and chair rail, decorative border print, a green marble-topped table, a rose-colored granite pedestal bar overlooking the field and burgundy leather stools and chairs. In the kitchenette, a full-sized refrigerator is accompanied by a full-size oven and a sink with a gold-plated faucet."
- Caterpillar, Inc. owns a double suite that is primarily used to entertain the customers and VIP guests the company hosts in the community.
- "Chiefs Stadium Renamed Dozer Park". Peoria Chiefs. May 10, 2013. Retrieved May 10, 2013.
- Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
- "O'Brien Field". SportsBusiness Journal. May 27, 2002. Retrieved September 17, 2011.
- Cape, Kevin (May 10, 2013). "Caterpillar Names Baseball Stadium 'Dozer Park'". Journal Star (Peoria). Retrieved May 10, 2013.
- "South Bend Takes Pair of Games from Chiefs". The Pantagraph (Bloomington–Normal). August 11, 2001. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
- "Stadium History". Peoria Chiefs. December 2, 2008. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
- "Baseball State Finals: 1A/2A Tournament Moves To Peoria, 3A/4A Extended In Joliet". Illinois High School Association. October 12, 2010. Archived from the original on June 8, 2011. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
- Vlahos, Nick (April 30, 2013). "Peoria City Council Approves Financial Restructuring for Chiefs". Journal Star (Peoria). Retrieved May 10, 2013.
- Reynolds, Dave. "Guide to O'Brien Field". Journal Star (Peoria). Archived from the original on June 3, 2002. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
- "Big-League Style Ballpark a Hit in Peoria". Journal Star (Peoria). October 19, 2002. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
- "Who We're Working With". Professional Sports Catering. Retrieved August 11, 2013.