Green Bay hopes to have revised Shipyard plan in 90 days
GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Despite the Green Bay Bullfrogs' decision to move to Ashwaubenon, Green Bay leaders still hope to put some sort of sports and entertainment venue on the western edge of the Fox River.
“We're not giving up on the concepts,” said Jim Schmitt, Green Bay’s mayor. “We're not going to give up on concerts. We're not going to give up on sports.”
The city's Redevelopment Authority agreed Tuesday to spend up to $10,000 of neighborhood enhancement funds to revise the city's Shipyard proposal.
The city council passed a $13.5 million plan in December for an outdoor events center that included waterfront and parking improvements. The owners of the Bullfrogs were going to pay $5.5 million of that, mostly through a 20-year lease with the city.
“I think without that lease, we'll either have to look for a new tenant who can provide a lease or a source of income,” said Kevin Vonck, the city’s economic development director. “If not, we'll have to look at some options for what type of facility and what cost we could build down there.”
On top of concerts, festivals, and community events, city leaders say they're looking at possibly having soccer, football, lacrosse, and/or rugby at the revised stadium.
“There is some burgeoning leagues who have shown some interest in maybe having a team in Wisconsin or in Green Bay,” said Vonck. “We just kind of want to circle around and see what opportunities there might be for these types of franchises to land up here.”
City leaders say a revised stadium plan likely would not be compatible for baseball.
Schmitt says the city is in talks with PMI Entertainment Group, based in Ashwabuenon, to promote events under the new plan.
David Nennig is one of three city council members who voted against the Shipyard proposal in December. He says he'd like to see a thorough plan for the entire South Broadway area.
“The key is attracting good business development and good investment from private businesses,” said Nennig.
An Anduzzi’s restaurant, a concert venue from Festival Foods President and CEO Mark Skogen, and a new world headquarters for Breakthrough Fuel were among private projects linked to the previous Shipyard proposal.
City leaders say the private businesses tied to that proposal are still interested in the area. However, they'd like to see what kind of new plan the city comes up with.
The city's goal is finalize a revised proposal in the next 90 days.