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The Rock owner's latest pitch is in Oak Creek, not Franklin

Common council discusses financing for professional baseball stadium

May 21, 2014

Oak Creek — Negotiations took place in a closed session this week between the Common Council and representatives of Mike Zimmerman, CEO of The Rock Sports Complex, Franklin, who is eying Oak Creek land to build a professional baseball stadium.

Zimmerman approached Mayor Steve Scaffidi about Oak Creek's interest in the development in early April, weeks before Franklin officials denied the request April 22. The closed session on Tuesday, May 20, served to bring the Common Council up to speed on the proposal and consider a request for public money through tax incremental district financing.

The land in site is owned by the U.S. Postal Service at 2201 E. College Ave. Zimmerman is working with Cobalt Partners LLC to develop the project.

"I think the idea of a stadium and entertainment use is not a bad idea. It always comes down to how you pay for it," said Scaffidi. "The proper mix probably would end up being some small city investment, small private investment and cooperation with other facilities that may have use of that stadium. I think there's some crossover that we could probably encourage that would get it done."

Franklin rejected Zimmerman's proposal, which called for $10.5 million from the city, because "existing property tax resources were not an appropriate funding source," according to a Franklin NOW article published in April. The stadium would seat 3,100 people and could host other events and entertainment beyond baseball.

Scaffidi said action from the council was unlikely to take place this week.

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