After working for several years on a new downtown Green Bay ballpark, Big Top Baseball has shifted gears and will work with the nearby Village of Ashwaubenon on a new home for the Green Bay Bullfrogs (summer collegiate; Northwoods League).
Technically, Ashwaubenon is a suburb of Green Bay, located in Brown County. Big Top Baseball, which also owns three other Northwoods League teams (Madison, Wisconsin Rapids, Kenosha), had been negotiating with Green Bay officials for a new downtown ballpark on the Fox River. And while there had been some forward movement on the proposed Shipyard ballpark project in recent months, the lack of a solid business plan caused the Big Top ownership to consider an offer from neighboring Ashwaubenon.
“Since purchasing the Bullfrogs more than four years ago, we have worked diligently with the City of Green Bay to develop a long-term facility improvement solution. Unfortunately, the lack of a firm solution and the continued uncertainty required us to pursue other options to secure our long-term future in the Green Bay market,” Big Top owners Conor Caloia, Vern Stenman and Steve Schmitt said in a joint statement. “We would like to thank Mayor Jim Schmitt and Economic Development Director Kevin Vonck for their tireless efforts over the past four years and regret that we were unable to finalize a solution.
“We are excited about the vision we share with the Village of Ashwaubenon and look forward to building a facility that is a unique asset to Northeast Wisconsin and something that the entire region will enjoy.”
“We were approached with this opportunity to establish another community attraction as a complement to the Resch Center and Ashwaubenon Performing Arts Center and found it to be a good fit. It is more than a baseball stadium –it will be a venue for sports and other community events. We see this as a great addition to the Village to expand our sports and entertainment district in a family-friendly environment and will create a bridge to Ashwaubenon’s successful retail district,” Village President Mary Kardoskee stated.
The project is currently scheduled to be completed in spring 2019 and will host Green Bay Bullfrogs baseball, summer collegiate soccer and other community events. The ballpark will be located immediately south of Village Hall on Holmgren Way and seat approximately 2,500 fans and have a capacity of 4,000 for athletic events. The $10 million facility will be paid for with a combination of lease revenue from Big Top and tax increment financing revenues from additional projects located along the north and east ends of Oneida Street.
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