Citizen Wausau

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Where is a Steinbrenner When You Need One?

by on November 17th, 2008

Back in June, I wrote a post here on CW regarding the future status of Woodchucks baseball in Wausau.

The gist of that article was:

The team’s contract with the city expires after next season (2009), and unless the city agrees to pay for significant updates at the ballpark, the team might face a need to relocate. Bill for proposed updates reported in the WDH: $240,000. Question: Is it worth the money?

In today’s (11/17/08) WDH, the issue reappears. This time, the $240,000 upgrade is not mentioned at all. Instead there’s a three-times-larger $798,000 improvement project for the existing park (that can easily grow to $1 million), along with five multi-million-dollar proposals for new stadiums or an expansion of Athletic Park:

West Side Industrial Park: $2.8 million. So much for a neighborhood park!
North East Wausau: $2.9 million. Site not identified.
Athletic Park Expansion: $5.6 million. Buying 23 residences, plus three commercial properties.
Wausau Concrete: $3.7 million. Wouldn’t mind replacing that eyesore on the river!
Frank / MCDEVCO: $5.7 million. Location not identified.

So, the big questions become: Is the city willing / able to do any of these? Do we watch the Woodchucks move away as did our previous team? Do we miss another boat as we did with the 4-year college going to Point (something we’ve never recovered from)? Is there an economic impact study / document available?

The Park Dept. (!) is talking with the Woodchucks about all this … but what is our city government (i.e. our leaders) doing about it? What is the priority? Is there a public opinion / input component? There’s one year left in the contract.

My article in June was responded to by three people … none of them “official.”

Wonder how long this will plod along without any sense of vision or commitment?

Who cares?

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