The Village of Ashwaubenon is proceeding with plans for a new Green Bay Bullfrogs (summer collegiate; Northwoods League) ballpark, as officials have approved some key agreements.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Big Top Baseball will shift its effort to construct a new ballpark for the Bullfrogs to Ashwaubenon. The group–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.
On Tuesday, the Ashwaubenon village board signed off on several agreements relating to the ballpark. That included a 20-year lease with Big Top, as well as a design contract with Pendulum and a construction management deal with RODAC Construction. Officials are hoping to begin construction on the $10-million ballpark late this summer, with a goal of opening it in time for the 2019 Northwoods League season. More from The Green Bay Press-Gazette:
The Ashwaubenon Village Board on Tuesday approved a 20-year lease with Madison-based Big Top Baseball for operation of the stadium that calls for the company to provide an up-front investment of $500,000 in the project. Big Top would then make a $205,000 lease payment to the village each year through 2023 with 1 percent increases each year through 2038.
Trusrees also approved a $753,000 contract with Pendulum, a Kansas City-based stadium designer, and $457,000 contract with RODAC Construction for construction management and keeping project costs below the village’s $10 million budget.
Madison-based Big Top Baseball said the board’s approvals mean construction could start by late summer and wrap up by May 2019.
The village has an agreement in place to buy the industrial property located just south of the village hall, in the 2200 block of Holmgren Way, for $1.2 million. Big Top Baseball President Vern Stenman said Pendulum has already looked at the site and might try to work part of the existing building into the stadium plans.
Along with the Bullfrogs, the new ballpark is expected to host other events, including soccer and concerts. In addition, the lease agreement for the new ballpark affords Ashwaubenon the right to stage 10 events annually at the facility.
Ashwaubenon is a suburb of Green Bay, located in Brown County. The ballpark there would replace Joannes Stadium as the home of the Bullfrogs.
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