Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania, home of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, a Triple-A baseball team.
I’m on record in general support of a minor league baseball stadium to be built at the site of the Rock in franklin, even if it means some city funding. However, I have doubts the city will approve funding at the tune of $10.5 million.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting “Franklin's taxpayers would borrow $10.5 million to develop a city-owned stadium for a new minor league baseball team, under a proposal submitted to local officials.”
That’s not all.
“If the city funds the new stadium, its annual debt payments would be around $1.1 million over 20 years, the report said. That would total $21.5 million.”
The annual economic impact would exceed the borrowing cost of $10.5 million. Plus there’s the prospect of hundreds of jobs created.
Even so, naysayers could point to the high price tag, how much money would actually be spent by fans in Franklin, and a study finding that fans won’t stay overnight in Franklin hotels. Rest assured the same archaic, backwards thinking, head in the sand arguments about too much noise and traffic will surface.
I covered the Miller Park story extensively for WUWM and primarily WTMJ. Understand that in a negotiating process such as this, details are many, discussions are intense, and deliberations are lengthy.
It would be highly ironic and very disappointing in my view if a community like Franklin that taxes and spends quite liberally would kill the stadium idea because of what it might have to pony up.
A minor league baseball stadium would be quite a boon for Franklin, just the kind of economic development that's been sorely lacking here. This is one beleaguered taxpayer who would be willing to see his taxes for once go toward something visible, beneficial, and enjoyable. Here’s hoping the right deal can be worked out.