Lammi Sports Management announced it has acquired all of the assets for the 63-year-old Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, located alongside the UWM Panther Arena on 4th Street.
The assets of the Hall of Fame, which was established in 1951, will now be managed the newly created Wisconsin Hall of Fame, LLC. The company will create a board of advisors comprising notable sports executives and media members from around the state, community leaders and athletes.
This is welcome news to many in the city, who have felt the Hall of Fame has been marginalized – and largely forgotten – by many sports fans.
As someone who moved to Milwaukee, the wall on 4th Street was a great way to learn about Wisconsin's rich sporting history. But, you rarely see passerby on non-gamedays on that block, and even then people just sort of wander past it.
When there are so many halls of fame out there, from the league's to the individual teams and schools, it's hard to maintain relevancy.
I'd still like to see the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame rolled into a new Milwaukee Bucks arena project, but until then this new management has said it will host year-round events including holding its induction ceremony at the Wisconsin Center, host a nomination luncheon, conduct "Speaker Series Breakfasts" and, potentially, a Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame touring exhibit.
This is all slated to begin no later than 2016 to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Hall.
"Lammi Sports is honored and humbled to preserve and restore this historic Wisconsin sports property," Brian Lammi, founder and CEO of Lammi Sports Management said in a statement released by the firm.
"We want to thank the Wisconsin Center District and the Wisconsin Sports Development Corporation for their faith in Lammi Sports Management to oversee this iconic trust that salutes athletic excellence in Wisconsin. We also want to commend the Wisconsin Sports Legacy Group for their grass roots efforts to revitalize the Hall."
Gov. Scott Walker also commented in the statement, adding "Wisconsin is home to some of the most iconic and historic players, coaches, and teams. As a proud supporter of Wisconsin sports, I’m excited about this new chapter for the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame and look forward to many more years of celebrating our great sports teams."
Jim Owczarski is an award-winning sports journalist and comes to Milwaukee by way of the Chicago Sun-Times Media Network.
A three-year Wisconsin resident who has considered Milwaukee a second home for the better part of seven years, he brings to the market experience covering nearly all major and college sports.
To this point in his career, he has been awarded six national Associated Press Sports Editors awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, breaking news and projects. He is also a four-time nominee for the prestigious Peter J. Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism, presented by the Chicago Headline Club, and is a two-time winner for Best Sports Story. He has also won numerous other Illinois Press Association, Illinois Associated Press and Northern Illinois Newspaper Association awards.
Jim's career started in earnest as a North Central College (Naperville, Ill.) senior in 2002 when he received a Richter Fellowship to cover the Chicago White Sox in spring training. He was hired by the Naperville Sun in 2003 and moved on to the Aurora Beacon News in 2007 before joining OnMilwaukee.com.
In that time, he has covered the events, news and personalities that make up the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, NCAA football, baseball and men's and women's basketball as well as boxing, mixed martial arts and various U.S. Olympic teams.
Golf aficionados who venture into Illinois have also read Jim in GOLF Chicago Magazine as well as the Chicago District Golfer and Illinois Golfer magazines.