Minor league baseball stadium proposed at The Rock

Michael Zimmerman, the owner of Greenfield-based Zimmerman Ventures LLC and The Rock Sports Complex LLC, wants to build a professional minor league baseball stadium at the sports complex in Franklin.

The Rock, located northwest of Loomis Road and South 76th Street, is owned by Milwaukee County and operated by The Rock Sports Complex LLC. The complex includes a ski hill, a BMX track and several baseball fields.

Zimmerman has a long term lease for the 147-acre site, mostly located in Franklin and the rest in Greendale. He says he has invested $10.5 million in the property transforming the former Crystal Ridge ski hill into The Rock.

Now Zimmerman wants to build a $7 million to $11 million minor league baseball stadium on 20 to 30 acres south of the ski hill. According to plans submitted to the city, the stadium would have 2,500 to 3,000 seats, grass seating for another 2,000 fans, picnic areas, a beer garden and 6 to 10 private suites.

The plans submitted to the City of Franklin indicate that Zimmerman wants the city to “participate in helping finance this new development.” Additional details were not provided. Zimmerman could not be reached for comment.

The stadium would be used by an independent minor league team, according to the plans. Zimmerman hopes to begin construction this year so that the stadium is complete by the spring of 2015.

The architecture of the stadium will resemble classic 1920s baseball stadiums, according to the plans submitted to the city.

The Franklin Common Council will hold a special meeting on Thursday to review the proposal.
The Rock was profiled in a March 2013 BizTimes Milwaukee cover story.

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