Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Baseball at the Frame?

Spent last evening at the meeting of the Waukesha Common Council to hear the presentation by the Northwoods baseball league for the proposed expansion franchise. Without giving too much away about tomorrow's column in the Waukesha Freeman (a bargain at 50 cents), here are some observations:

1. Of the 30-plus people in the room that were not reporters, writers, aldermen, parks board members, and city staff, I think it's fair to say that almost all of them are opposed to the proposed baseball stadium in Frame Park.

2. Mayor Nelson, City Admin Lori Luther, and Alderman Litchie are definitely in favor of the idea.

3. Alderman Hernandez, whose district would be most affected, told me that he was undecided but so far contacts to his office are running 9-0 against. Joe Pieper is also undecided, and Alderman Cummings reports her contacts are 6-4 against. Alderman Vitale is begging for more input from his constituents and Alderman Tortomasi wonders if we're going to be able to afford the capital improvements.

4. There is still not a satisfactory answer to the parking question, and the discussions last night were mostly different ways the available parking could be reduced further. Also, we saw no plans for the proposed shuttle buses and trolleys - and who would pay for them.

5. Last but not least, what was revealed last night is how the stadium proposal is really only a phase one. If the team is successful, the stadium will have to expand. The current proposal for seating capacity is only to start. makes sense when consider Madison drew over 200,000 fans this year.