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Royle: We’ve outgrown Joannes Stadium

Such a high-class problem: the success enjoyed by the Green Bay Bullfrogs means the team has outgrown Joannes Stadium.

As the Green Bay Bullfrogs enter their third year in the summer-collegiate Northwoods League, owner Jeff Royle faces a problem many owners would love to have: he's outgrown his ballpark.

Not exactly unexpected: when Royle entered the league he knew it would only be a matter of time before the team too popular for tiny Joannes Stadium, an older facility once hosting a Dodgers farm team featuring Frank Howard. And despite adding lots of premium and deck areas, the Bullfrogs realistically are cramming more fans nightly into a ballpark designed for only 1,600 or so.

In this season preview with the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Royle addresses the issue of a new ballpark :

I always believed that if we did our job well here in Green Bay, and if we captured the imaginations of the people and really did the things that I felt we wanted to do, that we could be a 3,000-a-night franchise in a hurry. And if we got there, if we knew we were headed in that direction, we were obviously going to have capacity concerns with regards to Joannes. We did some substantial renovations to the place out of the get-go, because we were very, very confident that, in a market the size of Green Bay, that we could do 1,000 or better a night our first year. With that came the improvements you saw right from the get-go. I mean, yeah, Joannes holds 1,600 people. But when the majority of your seating is in the form of bleachers and not a lot of fanciness to it, pretty simple stuff, the addition of the fan deck and some of those other things are what we use to give people some different options. … I have in no way, shape or form asked anybody to give us a stadium or have I asked the taxpayers to pay for a stadium. All I’ve said from the get-go is, from the very start, it’s always been in the back of my mind that if we continue to grow as a franchise in the manner I think we’re going to, we’re quickly going to outgrow Joannes as it is today.

RELATED STORIES: Bullfrogs commit to ballpark improvements, but still eye new home; Bullfrogs pitching new Green Bay ballpark

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