Renovations for professional soccer at Breese Stevens Field could happen earlier than originally expected, as Madison, WI officials will consider the proposal this week.
Big Top Baseball is pitching a variety of upgrades that will allow Breese Stevens Field to host professional soccer. That includes an increase in seating capacity to 5,000, along with an improved sound system, improvements related to historic preservation, and upgraded locker rooms.
A resolution that will be considered by the Madison City Council on Tuesday calls for $1.3 million in funding–split between general obligation debt and park impact fee funding–to be allocated for the facility upgrades. The funding proposal that will be considered on Tuesday is in addition to another $1.2-million project that will lead to the construction of a new restroom and concessions structure. More from The Wisconsin State Journal:
The stadium at 917 E. Mifflin St. currently has a capacity of about 3,700 people for sporting events. The improvements were originally scheduled for 2021, but could happen this year.
The project would result in the stadium having about 3,000 bleacher-style seats, along with more than 1,000 individual seats and an area with flexible or group seating with tables for up to 800 people, [Madison Parks superintendent Eric] Knepp said.
The resolution would authorize funds to be spent this year to coincide with a separate $1.2 million project to construct a concession and restroom facility in the stadium, Knepp said.
“This city has had a longtime vision of modernizing the facility” while preserving the historic nature, Knepp said. “Looking at the way the project works out, it makes a lot of sense … to make these improvements now.”
In its current form, Breese Stevens Field is used for multiple types of events, including concerts and amateur soccer. Big Top Baseball, which owns and operates four summer collegiate league baseball teams–including the Madison Mallards (Northwoods League)–has operated the venue since 2015.
Breese Stevens Field is a WPA-era facility once hosting Madison minor-league baseball, but in recent years it has been reconfigured for soccer and football with the installation of a new artificial-turf playing field.
Image courtesy Breese Stevens Field.