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The Rock eyes baseball stadium

The concept design for the proposed professional baseball stadium at The Rock could contain between 2,500 and 3,000 seats.

The concept design for the proposed professional baseball stadium at The Rock could contain between 2,500 and 3,000 seats.

Jan. 28, 2014

Franklin — A special Common Council meeting will be held Thursday to review a proposed professional baseball stadium at The Rock Sports Complex.

Michael Zimmerman, owner of The Rock and Zimmerman Ventures, filed a concept review application with the Department of City Development on Tuesday for the proposed baseball stadium.

"I started playing around with the idea for a stadium about a year ago," Zimmerman said. "Now, I think it's time to put the pedal to the metal on it."

The 20- to 30-acre stadium, designed to hold 2,500 to 3,000 seats, would cost between $7 million and $11 million to develop. Zimmerman anticipates that the stadium could be complete in the spring of 2015, in time for the baseball season.

"I think many communities would literally kill to have that proposal given to them," Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor said. "My first response (to the proposal) was, 'Is this Christmas?' I'm very, very excited."

As part of the project, Zimmerman Ventures would consider bringing in an independent league professional baseball franchise to the sports complex, 7900 W. Crystal Ridge Drive.

As an investor in the $10.5 million sports complex, Zimmerman Ventures may ask the city for financial assistance for the stadium at the special meeting, according to a letter sent to the city.

The proposed stadium project may also consist of picnic areas, a beer garden, concession stands and a playground area, according to documents submitted to the city. Special events, such as concerts and fireworks, might be considered for the facility.

"Of course, this is all conceptual still," Taylor said. "There are still thousands of questions that need answers."

Initial reports from Zimmerman Ventures suggest the stadium's development may directly impact 15 nearby homeowners, who would be invited to attend an open house held by The Rock at a future date.

"I anticipate overwhelming support for this thing," Zimmerman said. "The Rock has already been a great asset to the community, but adding a professional baseball team to it would have significant economic value."

Next step

What:

concept review for a proposed professional baseball stadium at The Rock

When:

Thursday at 4 p.m.

Where:

Franklin City Hall, located at 9229 W. Loomis Road.

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