Events company looking to bring minor league soccer to Breese Stevens Field
MADISON, Wis. — Breese Stevens Field could soon become a destination for soccer fans. Big Top Events, which manages the field, wants to invest $2 million into the venue allowing a professional minor league soccer team to launch at the field in 2019. In order to have that happen the company would need to create a new contract with the city of Madison.
Big Top Events, elected officials, and near east siders met up at Festival Foods to talk about the potential changes. The events company wants to increase the number of concerts from six to 12 by 2020, allow liquor at all events, hire 10 more full-time employees, and have the city pay for $1.6 million in facility upgrades.
“If those improvements are made, this will become the top soccer facility in the state of Wisconsin,” Conor Caloia said. “There’s not professional outdoor soccer anywhere in the state of Wisconsin and we think that Madison has the opportunity to be the first market to have that.”
This area of Madison has seen a number of new developments and changes over the last five years. Alder Leddell Zellers, who represents district 2, said there’s concern from residents in the Tenney-Lapham neighborhood regarding noise, the number of events, parking and alcohol use.
“They supported The Galaxy, The Constellation, Lyric Apartment, Veritas Village, the neighborhood association and the neighborhood supported it all. So they welcome good change, but they do also care about their quality of life,” Zellers said.
Big Top Events said they are committed to paying $100,000 a year over the next 20 year as part of a new lease deal with the city; they currently pay $30,000. For any of this to happen, though, the current contract needs to be renegotiated. It would then need to be approved by the parks commission and then city council.
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