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Kenosha ballpark improvements to be unveiled today

Kenosha Northwoods LeagueThe owners of the new Kenosha team in the summer-collegiate Northwoods League will be unveiling a million dollars in improvements to Simmons Field, the former home to pro baseball in the Wisconsin city.

The ballpark improvements cover new seating (including seating reclaimed from Baltimore’s Oriole Park), new grandstands, new dugouts, a brick wall surrounding the playing field, overhauled concessions and a new team shop. The changes will be ready when the team launches for the 2014 season

A new Northwoods League team is set to play at the former home of the Kenosha Twins (Low Class A; Midwest League) and Kenosha Mammoth (independent; Frontier League). Steve Schmitt, Vern Stenman and Conor Caloia will own the team; they also comprise the ownership of the Madison Mallards and Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (both summer collegiate; Northwoods League).

The event, to be held tonight at the Civil War Museum (5400 1st Av.), is free and open to the public.

Kenosha has been economically depressed for many years now, dating back to the decline of the auto industry beginning with the demise of AMC (Gremlins were manufactured there) and ending in 2010 when Chrysler closed down an engine-manufacutring plant. Despite the problems in Kenosha — and there are plenty of indications the local economy is on the rise — the city is putting money in the ballpark. The team is also expected to draw from Racine and northern Illinois as well.

RELATED STORIES: Kenosha approves Simmons Field lease for Northwoods League team; Simmons Field lease approved for Northwoods League team; Mallards pitch Kenosha on Simmons Field renovations


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