Pictured (left to right): St. Paul Saints Owner Mike Veeck, UW-Milwaukee Athletic Director Amanda Braun, Panther Head Coach Scott Doffek, Roc Ventures CEO Mike Zimmerman, American Association Commissioner Miles Wolff, Franklin Mayor Steve Olson. Not pictured: Franklin Aldermen Kristen Wilhelm and Steve Taylor, Alderman Steve Taylor.
The Milwaukee Business Journal is reporting the UW-Milwaukee (UWM) baseball team has signed a five-year lease to play at Ballpark Commons in Franklin, the new home of the Panthers.
UWM will play a total of $60,000 over the five-year lease period , play 25 regular season games and also use the indoor practice area at Ballpark Commons 15 times per season. The university has the option to extend the lease when it expires.
What a huge step up and improvement for the team as the Panthers will be moving from Henrty Aaron Field in Lincoln Park on Milwaukee’s north side that holds a paltry 150 seats. Ballpark Commons will seat 4,000 when it opens in spring of 2019.
“Dealing with the facilities that we have had to deal with has been a challenge – not an excuse, but a challenge – and I think we have done our best to this point,” UWM baseball head coach Scott Doffek said back in February. “We just had to do something at this level to be able to compete. The lifeblood of any program at the Division I level is to recruit and retain student-athletes that can succeed. And it starts with having a facility like this that can showcase that.”
“This project is the missing piece for us and I believe once it is in place, the sky is the limit for Milwaukee Panthers baseball,” said UWM Athletic Director Amanda Braun. “We wear the Milwaukee on our jersey and we represent this community. We are excited to get down here and start playing next spring.”