A proposal to fund upgrades to Breese Stevens Field cleared a hurdle on Monday, when Madison, WI’s Finance Committee approved a resolution for the plan.
Big Top Events has been pitching a renovation to Breese Stevens Field that would allow the venue to host professional soccer. A total of $1.2 million would lead to the construction of a new restroom and concessions structure, while separate $1.3-million initiative includes new seating, an upgraded sound system, upgraded player facilities, and more.
The initial plan called for the two projects to be conducted separately–beginning with the new restroom and concessions structure–but Madison officials have considered changing that plan to undertake both sets of upgrades at once. In its vote Monday, the finance committee approved a resolution to amend the Parks Division’s capital budget that would effectively allow funding for the $1.3 million to be allocated this year. More from The Capital Times:
“Given what we know about the current projects in the pipeline and the trend in building permits, I would project that this fund is likely to recover prior to 2021 with a fund balance that can continue to support projects that benefit the whole community,” [Parks Superintendent Eric] Knepp said in a memo to the committee.
Improvements include adding 1,300 seats and upgrading the public address system, locker rooms, facility systems and field amenities.
The resolution allows the $1.3 million improvement funds to be spent in 2018 to parallel a second $1.2 million project that would construct a concessions and restroom facility, which is currently out to bid. Plans call for starting construction in 2018.
“Having the additional improvement commence in conjunction with the current project will create efficiencies and provide a more fully modernized facility and will reduce the need to complete a completely separate project in 2021,” the resolution states.
The $1.3 million contribution will be split between general obligation debt and park impact fee funding. In a separate vote, the committee also approved a 10-year use agreement with Big Top Events that–among other measures–will allow the group to bring a professional soccer team into the facility.
In its current form, Breese Stevens Field is used for multiple types of events, including concerts and amateur soccer. Big Top Events, which owns and operates four summer collegiate league baseball teams–including the Madison Mallards (Northwoods League)–has operated the venue since 2015.
Image courtesy Breese Stevens Field.