Independent minor league pro baseball team coming to The Rock

"Name the Team" contest will launch next week

Rendering of the Ballpark Commons development.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:11 pm

The Ballpark Commons project at The Rock Sports Complex in Franklin has landed an independent minor league professional baseball team.

A rendering of the Ballpark Commons mixed-use development, including a 4,000-seat ballpark, at The Rock Sports Complex in Franklin.

ROC Ventures, the developers behind the project, on Tuesday announced their membership in the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, an independent minor league professional baseball league

The American Association of Independent Professional Baseball was founded in 2005. The league has 12 clubs, split into three divisions.

Zim-Mar Properties LLC, purchased the last piece of the property for the project at 8200 W. Old Loomis Road on Feb. 14 from Milwaukee County for $1 million according to state real estate records and plans to break ground on construction of a 4,000-seat ballpark for the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball team this spring.

“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.”

Zimmerman will hold a press conference Tuesday in Franklin with American Association commissioner Miles Wolff and Mike Veeck, who is a co-owner of the St. Paul Saints to release more details.

The press conference will also kick off a “Name the Team” contest that will determine the moniker and mascot for the new Ballpark Commons home team. Zimmerman said the ballpark will be designed as a tribute to Wisconsin farmers and agriculture.

“The American Association is proud to welcome Milwaukee as its newest member,” Wolff said. “We are excited to add the experience and professionalism of ROC Ventures to our league. We have a strong league, and we know that the fans in the Milwaukee area will be impressed by the quality of baseball and the quality of the stadium that will be presented to them in 2019.”

Ballpark Commons, a $130 million mixed-use development featuring the 4,000-seat ballpark, commercial and retail businesses, restaurants, residential apartments, and various entertainment and active lifestyle features.

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