The Madison City Council voted unanimously on May 15 to approve a 10-year lease extension for Breese Stevens Field to be managed by Big Top Events.
The measure includes provisions to alter the schedule of improvements that were previously scheduled to happen over the next five years to now proceed in 2018. The expedited stadium renovations clear the way for a new professional soccer team to launch at the facility in the Spring of 2019. The owners of Big Top Events, who also own the Madison Mallards, have scheduled a news conference and public event for this Thursday, May 17th at Breese Stevens Field. Gates will open at 5:30 pm and a limited number of commemorative items will be distributed to the public to celebrate the announcement.
“As we look forward to the 2019 summer with the anticipation of professional soccer at the venue, which we all agree is the best purpose, the best years and the best use of that facility is certainly in front of us,” Big Top Events president Vern Stenman said.
The new 10-year agreement calls for:
•A City investment in improvements to the facility to include increased seating capacity, a new public address system and player amenity upgrades.
•Adding eight free community access days to the stadium.
•Maintaining seven concerts per year with the option for an additional concert pending prior approval of the Parks Division superintendent in consultation with the alder.
•Maintaining a 10 p.m. curfew for concerts.
•Capping school-night events at 20 over the 10-year period, approximately two per year, and a maximum of three in any given year.
•Allowing the facility to host a professional soccer team.