Today’s featured project is Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium, the home of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the Midwest league affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. For an in-depth overview of the project and behind scenes video check out Episode One of “The Details” on our website by clicking the link below.
The Details Episode 01
The original ballpark was completed in 1995 for $6M. The Fox Cities Amateur Sports Authority invested an additional $6M in a complete renovation for the 2013 season. The renovation included doubling the existing concession and restroom infrastructure, new administrative offices, new team store, expanded storage, the addition of six premium sky boxes, and a banquet facility to accommodate 400 patrons year-round.
Original 1995 Main Entrance
Pendulum co-founder Jonathan Cole sits down with Wisconsin Timber Rattlers President & General Manager Rob Zerjav to discuss their collaborative journey from initial design concepts to completely renovated ballpark for the 2013 season. Zerjav elaborates on several of the new design features as well as his ideas on where the market is headed in the near future.
There’s great before and after shots of the ballpark at the end of the video so be sure to hang on to the end.
- Rob Zerjav – It was a crazy busy day for you and you still found the time…much appreciated!
- Pooby – Incredible food service, the custom burgers were amazing!
- John Iiams – photography, video & edit
- Music: J. Rawls Presents the Liquid Crystal Project – Track 12 “Cao” & Track 14 “Crystal Outro”
Approximately twelve years ago the President & General Manager of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Rob Zerjav and I began “chatting” about the “what ifs”. Those of us in the sports design business are very familiar with this “chat”, in fact we all field calls and chase down leads with team owners, municipalities, and general managers in hopes of being selected to design the next ballpark. To be honest, 75% of the time the projects never happen after pouring your entire being into getting it across the finish line. For some reason this project felt like the exception to the rule. We’d get heavily involved in charting a course and then we’d slow down for a year or two…”the timing is just not right” Rob would tell me. We’d start again and we’d inch closer but then we’d slow down again. Finally after ten years I got an email from Rob saying “I know you’ve heard this before, but this time I think we’ve got a good shot”. The rest is history.
My father always says “timing is everything”. That familiar phrase used to frustrate me as a youth but I can see the wisdom in his words now. The truth of the matter is if Rob and I would have closed the deal 12 years ago the ballpark “addition” (I refuse to call it a renovation anymore), would be totally different from what it is today. The project matured over time as the traditional baseball model continued to evolve.
The original ballpark was constructed in 1995 for a total of $5,000,000. Since the ballpark was designed for only seasonal use (no winters), there was a substantial void in premium amenities which translates to unattained annual potential revenue. While our initial focus was on a ballpark renovation that would fix minimum compliance issues per the MiLB Facility Standards, Rob and I both knew that there was more to this project than a few band aids. The Club Lounge is what makes this renovation an “addition”.
We added a full service kitchen and 30 foot bar to accommodate the 4,500 square foot Club Lounge. Over 400 guests are comfortably served at events with premium views to the playing field surface and outdoor access to the tiered balcony deck equipped with padded stadium seating. State of the art audio and visual equipment including a projection screen and LED televisions facilitate presentations during corporate events and weddings which push the space over the top.
The one programmatic item that never changed during our “chats” was the fact that Rob wanted to make a visual impact with the new covered ballpark main entry, team store and front office. He was very consistent in saying “this organization and my staff deserve to look professional and feel like champions”. We added approximately 20,000 square feet of retail, administrative, and hospitality spaces to this ballpark, in essence doubling the original (1995) enclosed square footage.
- Design Architect – Pendulum
- Signage & Graphic Design – Pendulum
- Architect of Record – The Boldt Company
- Budget: $6,000,000
- Approximately 50% of the existing structure was demolished
- The overall enclosed square footage was doubled
- Toilet fixtures and Concession points of sales were doubled in capacity
- Ballpark storage capacity was doubled
- Yes – the ballpark now meets MiLB Facility Standards
- Rob Zerjav, you are a man of your word and one of the most gracious individuals I know. Thank You!
- John Iiams – Our “ambassador of kwan” – great effort on this project!
- Photography – John Iiams, Iiams Images
Although it was a cold and rainy day in early April 2013, the formal reveal of the ballpark renovation effort was warmly received by the public. After ten years of talking, sketching, brainstorming, 3D modeling, and tearing through rolls of trace paper, the vision of a new Time Warner Cable Field as seen through the eyes of Team President and General Manager Rob Zerjav was finally realized; and in our opinion it was worth the long wait.
Pendulum Studio was tasked with designing a renovated facility that would not only compete in the current marketplace but also look toward the future and answer the question…”where is the market going?” We believe the answer to that question is different for every market based on a number of complex variables, i.e. size of market, existing amenities and infrastructure, and financing options. However, at the root of the issue at Time Warner Cable Field was first resolving the basic need to increase fundamental front office infrastructure that included new administrative offices, team store, doubling the capacity of fan toilets and concessions.
The remainder of the allocated budget was focused on enhanced curb appeal/street presence and increased premium amenities for year-round use. The series of images below focus on the premium club addition located above the existing main concourse behind home plate. The newly constructed 10,000 square foot program includes the following:
- VIP lobby & elevator
- Banquet space to accommodate 250 patrons
- Premium bar
- Club lounge overlooking the new main entry
- Six premium suites
- Outdoor banquet seating
- Integrated AV system for weddings and corporate functions
- Full service banquet kitchen and prep area
- Banquet storage
- Executive wash rooms
Stay tuned for final images…once it stops raining and snowing in Wisconsin. We’ll be posting a complete walking tour of the facilities last spring/early summer.