Bresse Stevens Field could become home to a Madison professional soccer club, according a proposal from facility operator Big Top Baseball.
In its current form, Breese Stevens Field is used for multiple types of events, including concerts and amateur soccer. As it plans for the future of the facility, Big Top Baseball is seeking an agreement with the City of Madison that would pave the way for upgrades. That plan calls for a long-term lease extension, with Breese Stevens Field receiving upgrades to meet professional standards, and the city agreeing to changes in policies relating to event end times and alcohol sales in private areas.
Discussion over the proposal is still unfolding, with Big Top Baseball is eyeing a 2019 launch for the team. More from The Capital Times:
Madison Parks Superintendent Eric Knepp emphasized that the city is not yet re-negotiating its deal with Big Top and that the first step is gathering community input at a neighborhood meeting Jan. 24, 7 p.m., hosted by Ald. Ledell Zellers, District 2, in the conference room at Festival Foods, 810 E. Washington Ave.
“We feel really good that the last couple years thousands more people have been able to enjoy and give purpose to a historic facility,” Knepp said. “I think it is evident that it is in the city’s best interest to give properties that are historic we own to give them purpose.”
Conor Caloia, chief operating officer of Big Top, said soccer is a rapidly growing spectator sport and residents of the evolving Capitol East District are strong candidates for a potential fan base.
“We think Breese is a great location to be connecting with the soccer enthusiasts,” Caloia said.
Big Top Baseball currently owns and operates four summer collegiate league baseball teams, including the Madison Mallards (Northwoods League). It has operated Breese Stevens Field since 2015. Breese Stevens Field is a WPA-era facility once hosting Madison minor-league baseball, but in recent years it’s been reconfigured for soccer and football with the installation of a new artificial-turf playing field.
Image courtesy Breese Stevens Field.