Christianson said he sent a three-page memo to his former colleagues outlining the challenges for the Beloit franchise and making the case for private ownership.
“My motivation is simple, I believe the Snappers are an asset to our community. Wisconsin has but three professional baseball teams left, Appleton, Milwaukee and Beloit, and we are rapidly moving past sustainability to questioning the survivability of the franchise,” said Christianson in a press release. “The debt service alone prevents the club from hiring more staff to recruit more sponsorships and sell more group tickets — forget about setting aside revenues for a building fund.”
Christianson led a new ballpark campaign ten years ago that resulted in land being donated adjacent I-90 north of Beloit. Working with ABC Supply founder Ken Hendricks and former Milwaukee Bucks owner Jim Fitzgerald, Christianson raised $10 million from foundations for naming rights of the proposed entertainment complex.
“Several factors collided that kept that idea from reality,’ said Christianson, “and with the passing of both Ken and Fitz, I hope a renewed effort, with strong leadership, can revive this collapsing franchise.”
That a replacement or upgrade of Pohlman Field is needed is no secret: MiLB President/CEO Pat O’Conner warned earlier this year that the ballpark’s situation needed to be addressed. And, as noted, Christianson has worked in the past on a new-ballpark solution. But whether the current board would want to sell the team is a matter for debate.