The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (summer collegiate; Northwoods League) and City of Wisconsin Rapids have reached an agreement to extend the team’s Witter Field lease, carrying the pact through the 2030 season. The team was entering the last season of its previous lease agreement.
The lease extension was the final step in the ownership transfer of the organization from Big Top Sports and Entertainment to new owners Joe and Vince Fonti, current owners of the Furniture & ApplianceMart/Ashley Homestore brands.
The new lease brings a wave of improvements to Witter Field, with several upgrades expected to occur prior to the start of the 2020 season. The Point Craft River will increase in size to accompany an additional 50 fans. The size increase will create a secondary option for groups of 20 plus looking for an intimate area within the park. A new bar, tables, and more standing room will be the notable inclusions.
The Accounting Plus Home Plate Club will increase its size as well. Opened in 2013, the Accounting Plus Home Plate Club has become one of the most sought-after areas to sit when taking in a Rafters game. Due to growth of interest, the area will add four tables, totaling 16 seats. The additional seats will see the same amenities that have resonated with fans within the Accounting Plus Home Plate Club. Padding will be added to face of the Club to increase the standard of player safety at Witter Field.
A few face lifts to Witter are expected start in the springtime. The men’s and women’s bathroom are to be renovated. In addition, the outfield wall will see its fair share of changes. The wood currently on the face of the wall will be removed and replaced with a padded wall system. “The wall project was fueled by an effort to continue to improve our standard for player safety at Witter Field.” said General Manager Andy Francis.
Included in the lease is the ability and expectation that Witter Field will be used for more special events. The team expects to see an increase in events as early as the 2020 calendar year.