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.
For a time it seemed as though recent talk about a minor league baseball stadium being built in Franklin was just that…talk. The naysayers, as usual, surfaced early. And the hint of any city property taxes being used to fund the project appeared to be, not just a strike, but a third strike. The developer immediately locked in Oak Creek as a Plan B in case the Franklin plan would suffer a quick death.
However, the idea of a potential Franklin site isn’t dead yet as the city has provided a spark of momentum with a Memorandum Of Understanding between Franklin and the developer that will be the subject of a public information hearing Thursday night.
I urge interested Franklin residents to look at the lengthy (133 pages) Draft Franklin Baseball Stadium Market Feasibility Study that was submitted to the Franklin Stadium Task Force on March 21, 2014. The draft was compiled by Johnson Consulting. Here are some critical excerpts:
The planned stadium in Franklin is expected to have a total capacity for approximately 3,100 fans for baseball games. The breakdown for seating is detailed below:
·Fixed Seats: 1,800
·Grass Berm Seating: 500
·Premium/ Semi-Premium Seating-
Premium Suites: 6 (Capacity 12 per suite)
2 Party Suites (Capacity 12 per suite)
Umbrella Bar Group Seating (Capacity 250)
·Overflow/Standing Room: 500 Kid’s fun zone & playground
·Bullpen Perch: 160 linear feet of drink rail above the RF bullpens for fan viewing
·Field Dimensions: LF 310, CF 400, RF 325
·Retail Store: 500 SF fixed concession points of sale (10 cash registers)
·Vendor Carts: 4 (with specialty food items)
Additionally, the proposed stadium will include artificial turf and will be designed to accommodate a larger capacity for outdoor concerts, among other special events. This phase of development at The Rock Sports Complex will also include two ancillary little league baseball fields. The estimated cost of the proposed stadium is approximately $10.5 million. Additional costs include team acquisition, fees and team operating costs that will total approximately $4 million.
The City asked ways to help hedge risk.
Reasons why these venues fail are:
§Poorly capitalized owners
In our judgment, the City has a proven developer with a vested interest in the community. He has shown a willingness to be fair and has existing visitors to the site that he is willing to leverage to the benefit of the stadium.
Other tools that can be used to hedge risk are:
§Be very careful in the project’s capital budget. The proposed cost is low, so it seems responsible.
§Negotiate a risk sharing agreement, where the contractor, developer share any cost over runs.
§Dedicate revenues to the project cost and reserve funds, and use the adjacent real estate for sources of capital.
City of Franklin staff will hold a public information meeting for the
purpose of providing information and obtaining comment on the
proposed Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Franklin, Wisconsin, and Zimmerman Ventures, LLC for a minor league baseball
Because Jennifer and I do weekly culinary blogs (that will be on hiatus this Sunday), we receive various notices from some very nice places. If you're trying to make Easter reservations at this late date, you're probably out of luck. But this locale has openings (I tried to reserve online and found some openings). You'd better hurry.