By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jun 18, 2020 at 3:58 PM

The Ballpark Commons home of the Milwaukee Milkmen baseball team has gotten a new name.

Formerly known as Milwaukee Milkmen Stadium, the diamond is now called Franklin Field, in honor of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball team's hometown.

The renaming of the field is part of a new partnership between owner ROC Ventures and Franklin's Tourism Commission.

The "Engage Franklin" initiative will include opening a visitors center on-site near Franklin Field.

"Bringing professional baseball to Franklin has always been an important component of the Ballpark Commons project," said Mike Zimmerman, CEO of ROC Ventures, developer of the Ballpark Commons mixed-use development and owner of the Milkmen, in a statement Thursday.

"Our goal has always been to bring entertainment, sports, and retail to the community for residents and visitors, and the multi-faceted Engage Franklin partnership with Franklin Tourism centered on the home of the Milwaukee Milkmen is terrific synergy."

In addition to Milkmen games – as well as other games in the coronavirus-affected season this year – Ballpark Commons and Franklin Field – and The Rock Sports Complex – are also home to regional baseball tournaments, a summer concert and food truck series, the Milky Way drive-in movie theater, a Halloween haunted experience and other events.

"Ballpark Commons and the Milwaukee Milkmen represent a real commercial and entertainment focal point in the region," said Amy Schermetzler, of the Franklin Tourism Commission.

"If you want to reach visitors to the area and deliver an effective message about what Franklin has to offer, you can’t do much better than the home of the Milkmen."

The Milkmen and its league are among very few to have announced seasons this year and Franklin Field will serve as one of just a few stadia to host games.

"We may very well become, literally, the only game in town," said Zimmerman. "That’s hard to beat."

In addition to the amenities and tenants listed above, Ballpark Commons is home to Velo Village apartments, EXOS Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine and Wheel & Sprocket bike shop. Luxe Golf Bays will soon open, as will a new hotel and brewpub.

It currently draws about 300,000 visitors a year and expects that number to rise to more than 750,000 when the development is complete.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.