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Waukesha Ballpark Talks Shift to New Site

Northwoods League

After scrapping Frame Park as the site of a summer-collegiate Northwoods League ballpark, Waukesha, WI officials and Big Top Baseball will discuss a similar plan for Mindiola Park. 

Under the plan that was previously discussed, Waukesha and Big Top Baseball–which operates the Madison MallardsKenosha KingfishWisconsin Rapids Rafters and the Green Bay Bullfrogs—would construct a ballpark at Frame Park to house a new team in the Northwoods League. However, public opposition to the idea of using Frame Park for the ballpark was ultimately a factor in a decision last month to pull the plug on the public-private endeavor.

Though Frame Park is no longer on the table, Big Top Baseball and Waukesha could shift the effort to Mindiola Park. Like the Frame Park pitch, the new plan also calls for a 2,500-seat facility that would be used for Northwoods League baseball and other events, but it comes with some key differences from the previous proposal. One of the major contrasts is that the latest plan calls for the ballpark to be constructed as part of a project that includes new turf soccer fields. More from The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Unlike the Frame Park plan, Big Top would own and operate the stadium itself.

And, separate from the stadium, Mindiola Park would get up to four artificial turf soccer fields, which would be owned by the city and used to host Waukesha Parks and Recreation soccer games. The field could also be rented for use by outside groups for youth tournaments.

But perhaps the biggest difference is location.

“Frankly, it’s not Frame Park,” said City Administrator Kevin Lahner following the announcement.

At this point, it is estimated that the complete project would cost $12 million. The city would back its contribution to the project through an existing tax-increment financing district. A resolution to enter into negotiations with Big Top over the proposal will be considered by the Waukesha Common Council on Tuesday, but approval there would not be the final step in the process. According to a press release from the city, the terms of the proposal would need to be discussed at future meetings of various other governing bodies.

RELATED STORIES: New Waukesha Ballpark is Not Moving ForwardWaukesha Continues to Debate Northwoods League PitchWaukesha Mulls Northwoods League Team, New Ballpark

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