Though discussions continue, debate over a proposal from Big Top Baseball for a new Northwoods League ballpark at Frame Park is proving contentious among Waukesha, WI officials.
As part of the pitch from Big Top, an existing baseball field at Frame Park would be re-purposed into a 2,500-seat ballpark that includes amenities such as a videoboard, concessions, and hospitality areas. If it comes to fruition, the proposed new ballpark would become home to a summer collegiate Northwoods League in Waukesha, a suburb of Milwaukee.
While this is not the first time a Northwoods League facility and team have been pitched for Frame Park, the latest proposal has been met with criticisms from the public and certain elected officials, particularly over the proposed use of the park. A group opposed to the plan is seeking a declaratory judgement that, by deed, Frame Park is only for public purposes and that the city cannot give control of the field to Big Top. More from The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
The city is also facing a second complaint, from a group called the Friends of Frame Park, asking for a declaratory judgment from the courts, to rule that Frame Park, by deed, must be used only for public purposes.
The group has also argued that, under that deed, the city could not turn over control of the ballfield to Big Top Baseball, a private entity that operates four Northwoods League amateur teams.
At the Jan. 4 council meeting, Waukesha’s city attorney, Brian Running, said the city would welcome such a judgment to add a point of clarification to a debate heavily influenced by personal opinions.
Big Top Baseball owns and operates several clubs in the Northwoods League, including the Madison Mallards, Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, Kenosha Kingfish, and Green Bay Bullfrogs.
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