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Home Field for the Milwaukee Milkmen Has a New Name

June 19, 2020 - American Association (AA) - Milwaukee Milkmen News Release

The Milkmen have partnered with Franklin Tourism and now call FRANKLIN FIELD home ROC Ventures announced today a new partnership with the Franklin Tourism Commission to create a city-wide tourism initiative known as Engage Franklin.

Engage Franklin will include a Visitors Center on site near the Milwaukee Milkmen Stadium, which will now be known as Franklin Field in recognition of their home city.

"Bringing professional baseball to Franklin has always been an important component of the Ballpark Commons project," said Mike Zimmerman, CEO of ROC Ventures, developer of the Ballpark Commons mixed-use development and owner of the Milwaukee Milkmen. "Our goal has always been to bring entertainment, sports, and retail to the community for residents and visitors, and the multi-faceted Engage Franklin partnership with Franklin Tourism centered on the home of the Milwaukee Milkmen is terrific synergy."

"Ballpark Commons and the Milwaukee Milkmen represent a real commercial and entertainment focal point in the region," noted Amy Schermetzler, Chair of the Franklin Tourism Commission. "If you want to reach visitors to the area and deliver an effective message about what Franklin has to offer, you can't do much better than the home of the Milkmen."

Ballpark Commons and Franklin Field are host to far more than Milwaukee Milkmen games. Regional baseball tourneys mean associated hotel bookings; The Rock has a well-attended Summer Concert and Food Truck Series; the new Milky Way Drive-In serves up multiple movies every day and evening; Halloween means the popular Hill Has Eyes; and events with local organizations -- Police and Fire softball games, for example -- are popular at The Rock Sports Complex alongside the many leagues that play day and night on six major league specification baseball fields.

Ballpark Commons and Franklin Field will soon host a wider array of out-of-state visitors than usual. The American Association of Independent Professional Baseball recently announced that, in order to bring back baseball while addressing COVID-19 concerns, an abbreviated season would kick off on July 3rd. Three cities - Milwaukee, WI, Sioux Falls, IA, and Fargo, ND - will host 6 teams and a 60-game season in their respective stadiums, or "hubs." That means that Franklin, WI will regularly play host to fans of the Chicago Dogs, who share the Franklin Field home field "hub" with the Milkmen.

"It's a great platform from which to promote Franklin as a destination," said Shaun Marefka, Vice Chair of the Franklin Tourism Commission. "While the impact of COVID-19 will necessarily lower attendance allowed in stadiums, we will be able to deliver our message to a wide variety of visitors nonetheless."

As of now, the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball will be one of only three professional baseball leagues currently scheduled to play, and Major League Baseball may not have a season this year.

"We may very well become, literally, the only game in town," noted Mike Zimmerman. "That's hard to beat."

Engage Franklin will have a visitor's center in the stadium and collaborate in messaging through various Ballpark Commons media channels, including radio, social media, billboards, etc. At the same time, Franklin Tourism will be developing an Engage Franklin membership model in which other local businesses can participate. "We are excited to include all of Franklin's tourism-based businesses in our promotional efforts and give visitors even more reasons to stay and play in Franklin," said Calli Berg, Director of Economic Development for the City of Franklin.

Ballpark Commons continues to grow at a steady pace, becoming a true entertainment and retail district for Franklin. In addition to Velo Village apartments, EXOS Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine, and Wheel & Sprocket bike shop, Luxe Golf Bays will soon open as well as a new hotel and brewpub. Ballpark Commons is currently recording about 300,000 visitors a year and will be up over 750,000 when the development is complete.


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