Oconomowoc in Waukesha County is about as far west as you can get in suburban Milwaukee. Waukesha County has been the target for pro and summer-collegiate leagues for several years; at one point there was a proposal a new ballpark and Northwoods League team in Waukesha, but that effort died to funding disagreements. Meanwhile, in neighboring Oconomowoc, a ballpark was approved in 2020, with the goal being a launch in summer-collegiate play in 2021.
Those plans obviously changed, with the new goal a new ballpark (already under construction) for 2022 for an American Association team. The primary owners, Tom Kelenic, Sonny Bando, Tony Bryant, and Tim Neubert (a slightly different lineup than the Blue Ribbon Baseball group pursuing a Northwoods League team) will operate as managing partners of the new club, which will play under Lake Country Baseball branding. The Milwaukee Milkmen already play in suburban Milwaukee’s Franklin, while the Northwoods League’s Lakeshore Chinooks play in the northern suburbs.
“The addition of Lake Country will continue to enhance the level of play and quality of stadiums in the American Association and add to the regional rivalries throughout the Midwest that make our league special,” said American Association Commissioner Joshua Schaub. “The American Association has always held a high standard when it comes to innovation, having first in class facilities, the top players, and the best operators in the best markets for minor league baseball. This new ballpark and these operators will certainly be no exception to those standards that have been established. We very much look forward to this innovative stadium and team playing ball in 2022.”
The ballpark will be part of a Lake Country Live! entertainment complex and will include a multi-use indoor sports facility housing NX Level Sports Performance and Spiderz Batting Gloves. The facility will have batting cages, a weightlifting area, a fully equipped commercial kitchen serving lake country craft food and more. Additionally, the site will host other community events, corporate gatherings, outdoor concerts and charitable events. Other sports teams from the area such as soccer, rugby, and lacrosse teams will also have access to the field.
“We’ve had incredible support from the community throughout the entire process and we recognize that Baseball is part of the rich tradition in the Lake Country community,” said Tom Kelenic, Owner and Managing Partner of the new team. “We’re excited to expand on that tradition, and we’re very committed to bringing family-friendly entertainment that everyone can enjoy to the community.”
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