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New pro ballpark pitched for suburban Milwaukee

Ballpark DigestA publicly financed new ballpark for an affiliated Midwest League team, an independent Frontier League team or a summer-collegiate Northwoods League team has been pitched for Franklin, a Milwaukee suburb.

Mike Zimmerman, owner of The Rock complex, is pitching a 20-acre, $7-$11 million ballpark that would seat between 2,500 and 3,000 fans, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The Rock is a 144-acre redeveloped former landfill, complete with ski hill, six baseball fields and some support facilities. It doesn’t sound lilke anything is actually lined up. Given the size of the ballpark, the economics involved and the Franklin market size (36,000 or so, on the edge oif Milwaukee County), the Northwoods League would make the most sense — if a ballpark ever happens.

The Northwoods League has two teams in the greater area: the Lakeshore Chinooks to the north of Milwaukee and the new Kenosha Kingfish south of Milwaukee, almost to the state line. Franklin isn’t particularly close to other large suburban populations that could support pro or summer-collegiate ball, such as Waukesha.

Zimmerman is expected to more fully explian his proposal at Thursday’s Plan Commission meeting.


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