Nike Park renamed Apache Park
Sun Staff November 9, 2012 11:34AM
Nike Sports Complex and Nike Park | Mike Solley~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 12, 2012 6:35AM
The Naperville Park Board has approved a new name for Nike Park in north Naperville.
Since the park is located at 1567 Apache Drive, the park has been renamed Apache Park.
The board unanimously approved the new name at its Thursday meeting following a 60-day waiting period to allow for public comment.
Formerly known as Nike Park, the small park was sometimes confused with Nike Sports Complex, located at 288 W. Diehl Road.
“The new name reflects the location of this neighborhood park and is consistent with our board policy on park naming,” said Park District Executive Director Ray McGury.
The Nike Sports Complex sits on land owned by the Park District since 1975. The renovation completed in July 2011 nearly doubled the acreage of the complex, from 25 to 45 acres.
Added to the facility were a synthetic turf field complete with lights; updated multi-use fields for football, soccer and lacrosse; lighted courts for basketball, volleyball and tennis; and bike and walking trails. The complex also has one of only two cricket pitches in Naperville.
The much smaller Nike Park is separated from the complex only by landscaping, which has led to some of the confusion between the sites.
The Nike Park area in Naperville is so named because it once housed a U.S. Army Nike air defense system. Operated at first by the U.S. Army and then the Illinois National Guard, the missile battery was operational from 1956 to 1963. Almost 125 members of the military lived and worked at the base, which included three underground missile silos, a missile assembly area, two barracks and storage sheds.
Though many of the installations in the area had nuclear missiles, the Ajax missiles in Naperville never had nuclear capability.