Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:15 pm
Mike Zimmerman, the developer of The Rock Sports Complex in Franklin and the owner of the Milwaukee Wave, will be the owner of a new minor league baseball team in Kokomo, Indiana.
Zimmerman is also the founder of chief executive officer of MKE Sports & Entertainment, which today announced that he will own a team in Kokomo that will play in the Prospect League beginning in 2015.
“The Prospect League’s decision to bring a team to Kokomo is more than a baseball announcement,” said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight. “This is about bringing family entertainment to the heart of our city and creating pedestrian activity in the afternoon and evening around a new baseball stadium.”
The Prospect League features twelve teams competing in a six-state region.
Construction is currently underway on the new, 4,000-seat, Kokomo Municipal Stadium that will host all of the team’s home games. The Kokomo team will lease the stadium from the city and share responsibility for maintenance of the facility and grounds.
“I have been all over the Midwest in the past six months looking for the right opportunity for minor league baseball,” said Zimmerman. “After spending the day with Mayor Goodnight and city staff, as well as attending a local youth baseball game, I was hooked on Kokomo. The energy of the community with their love for sports and the revitalization projects currently underway is the perfect storm. It’s a real recipe for success. I am truly humbled and grateful that the city has chosen my group to represent the great city of Kokomo.”
Zimmerman has also been working on plans to build a ballpark in the Milwaukee area for an independent minor league team.
He wanted to build a $10.5 million minor league ballpark at The Rock and secured a franchise for a team from the independent Frontier League. Zimmerman sought a public-private partnership with the City of Franklin to finance the ballpark. His last proposal included plans to develop a mixed-use downtown district near The Rock, and to use tax incremental financing from that development to pay for the cost of the ballpark. But the Franklin Common Council rejected those plans.
More recently, Zimmerman has been in talks with Oak Creek officials about building a minor league ballpark in that community.
Also this year, Zimmerman signed a management contract to run the Rockford (Ill.) Aviators, which is in the Frontier League.
Zimmerman is also the owner of Greenfield-based Zimmerman Ventures, LLC, which operates five health care companies.