Monday, May 19, 2008

Strangle this bad baseball idea in its crib - again

Didn't we just reject this really bad idea a couple of years ago? Of course we did. Yet some city officials didn't get the message then, and they're considering building a semi-pro baseball stadium in Frame Park in Waukesha.

Waukesha - An amateur baseball league is seeking to build a $1 million stadium in Frame Park to host a franchise as soon as the summer of 2009, city and league officials said.

The Northwoods League fields teams of top college players competing in minor-league-style settings in Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota and Canada.

A Waukesha team would be the first Milwaukee-area team for the league, which has Wisconsin clubs with the Eau Claire Express, La Crosse Loggers, Madison Mallards, Green Bay Bullfrogs and Wisconsin Woodchucks in Wausau.

This is the third effort since 2004 to bring baseball to Waukesha.

Two proposals struck out because aldermen did not want Frame Park altered to accommodate an expected fan base and expanded facilities for players and support staff.

There also was doubt over the fiscal responsibility that would have been placed on the city.
Absolutely, positively not. Has anyone involved in this idea even looked at Frame Park? Let's run through the problems one at a time.
  1. Where are you going to expand the stadium? Into the river? Close the street?
  2. Where are they going to park? The parking lot gets full with people visiting the playground on a typical warm day. Are they going to build a parking structure?
  3. If the hoped-for crowds materialize, how will those streets handle the traffic?
  4. Are they going to re-route the train?
  5. Not to sound like a tree-hugger, but why would you destroy Frame Park?
  6. There's a professional baseball team 15 minutes away that already bends over backwards to make baseball affordable. They're called the Milwaukee Brewers.
  7. Who is going to pay for the necessary structural improvements for a new stadium?
  8. Why is Mayor Nelson proposing the creation of an exploratory committee when this was already rejected twice before?

The Spring City Chronicle suggests an alternative site, the Lloyd Owens Field at the Waukesha County Technical College. I would object that even in Pewaukee the site is too close, and putting this on the grounds of a taxing authority with no accountability is just a formula for disaster.

No, if we're going to have a new stadium in Waukesha County, why not send it out to Pabst Farms where nothing else is going on?

(Past coverage of attempts to build a stadium in Waukesha here, here and here.)