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New Franklin Ballpark to Host American Association Team; Site Prep Set For Next Week

Ballpark Commons

Work on a new Franklin (WI) ballpark will begin next week after developers acquire the final land parcel, as Roc Ventures announces plans to launch an independent American Association team at the multiuse development.

It’s been a long slog for Roc Ventures and developer Zim-Mar Properties LLC, both led by developer Mike Zimmerman, to put together the deal for a mixed-used development in suburban Milwaukee that includes retail, dining options, a driving range, apartments and a new 4,000-seat ballpark. But with the acquisition of four acres at 8200 W. Old Loomis Road, the project now has all the land needed to proceed with 2018 and potentially a 2019 opening date.

And that opening date will see a new American Association team in town. Roc Ventures already operates summer-collegiate teams in Kokomo and Lafayette, and an indy team in Milwaukee is a good fit for the American Association, setting up some natural rivalries with the established St. Paul Saints and the Chicago Dogs, which launches this season. From BizTimes:

“We’re honored to be accepted into the league as a brand new team,” said Mike Zimmerman, chief executive officer of ROC Ventures. “The American Association is a great organization that knows how to bring the excitement to their fans. We look forward to building a strong rivalry with the St. Paul Saints of Minnesota and The Chicago Dogs, a new franchise opening this summer near O’Hare Airport.”

Current Brewers Junior Guerra and Aaron Wilkerson played on American Association teams.

“Combining American Association professional, high-caliber baseball with the Ballpark Commons venue is going to mean great, family-friendly entertainment,” Zimmerman said. “We’re creating an affordable, multi-faceted dinner-and-a-show experience for the Milwaukee region. The Saint Paul Saints have thrived in a major league market alongside the Twins and we are looking to do the same with the Brewers.”

Announcement of the new team is set for next Tuesday.

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