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  • Writer's pictureMarc Viquez

Franklin Field - Milwaukee Milkmen


Photos by Marc Viquez Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.29

Franklin Field 7035 S. Ballpark Dr. Franklin, WI 53132


Year Opened: 2019

Capacity: 4,000


Milk & Baseball in Milwaukee

Franklin Field opened in 2019 on the site of the former Crystal Ridge Landfill in Franklin, Wisconsin, in the Milwaukee metropolitan area. It is home to the Milwaukee Milkmen of the American Association. Known as Routine Field during its inaugural season, but after a legal dispute about naming rights left the baseball stadium with a temporary moniker of Milkmen Stadium before settling on Franklin Field in 2020.


The stadium blends in well inside The Ballpark Commons, a mixed-use development, home to live, work, and play areas that will include a beer garden, taco restaurant, brew pub, apartments, senior living housing, a hotel, an indoor sports complex, and a performance and wellness village. The Rock Sports Complex features six baseball fields and is home to 2,000 baseball games annually inside the Ballpark Commons.


The stadium adds its name to big, bold, and distinctive facilities to the American Association and Wisconsin Brewing Company Park in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, and Impact Field about an hour south in Rosemont, Illinois. All ballparks are spacious, detailed for large social areas, and are alternatives to major league baseball in the metropolitan area.


Food & Beverage 3

A main area for food and drink is behind the backstop which offers an array of options for the customers at the game. The food stand is called the Burger Company and sells burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, chicken tenders, brats, nachos, fries, and cheese curds. The unique options are truffle parmesan fries, milkshakes, and milk and cookies.


The Barcadi Bar offers alcoholic beverages from beers, hard seltzer, vodka, whiskey, tequila, and brandy. A few of the can and draft varieties include products from MillerCoors, Vizzy, High Noon, Happy Thursday, Terrapin, and Angry Orchard.


The ballparks offer additional portable stands throughout the concourse that sell popcorn, grilled corn, and cupcakes. A Mexican food truck is set up near the main entrance. A few more stands are visible but were closed during our visit.


Atmosphere 3

The 4,000-seat ballpark offers areas of seating for fans on the wraparound concourse. The Leinenkugel Hop Yard is an impressive two-level area on the third base side of the venue that incorporates repurposed shipping containers, and the semi-private cabana seats behind the seating bowl of the concourse offer lounge seating and service.


Visitors enter Franklin Field from the outfield entrance in the left-field corner. They’re welcomed by the Leinenkugel Hop Yard area and the team’s official gift shop as they make their way to the main concourse. Visitors can buy an all-you-can-eat-and-drink ticket to the Hop Yard and choose from an array of local beers and food while enjoying the game from various viewpoints of the enclosed area.


The colors of black and white are evident throughout the building, which also extends to the advertisements on the outfield walls. The game day staff members are dressed as milkmen with black bow ties, offering services at portable stands and the main concession area behind the backstop.


The seating bowl offers plastic theater-style chairs in the colors of gray and yellow that add a welcome change in look not commonly found at other professional ballparks. On the top of the concourse is private cabana-style seating for groups. A video scoreboard is above the grass berm seating in left field, known as the pasture. The words “popcorn” can be heard over the sound system whenever there's a foul ball. The club offers a free bag of popcorn with every foul ball returned.


There is still more grass seating down the first baseline that also features trees that add to the natural beauty of the surrounding area of the neighborhood. In the distance behind the left field wall is a large grassy hill that blends in with the large open areas in the outfield of the stadium.


There are plenty of promotions: cow racing, cookie tossing, dizzy bat race, and frozen t-shirt contests. Bo-Vine is the team’s official mascot and can be seen during many of these promotions and in the stands during the game.


Neighborhood 3

Franklin Field is inside the Ballpark Commons, a mixed-use development that will be home to live, work, and play areas that will include a beer garden, taco restaurant, brew pub, apartments, senior living housing, a hotel, an indoor sports complex, and a performance and wellness village.


Luxe Golf Bays rises above the ballpark down the left field line and is connected to the Dog Haus and Brick Pizzeria & Ristorante. The Dog Haus offers burgers, hot dogs, and sausages with a variety of toppings, along with an impressive menu of draft beers. Brick features Neapolitan pizza and calzones baked in wood-fired ovens. There is also an open-air plaza that is perfect for families to eat and play. Across the street is Coffee Blend Cocktails that will satisfy your sweet tooth.


However, a trip up north to Milwaukee is where you will find more attractions, including tours of the Fiserv Forum, the Milwaukee Arts Museum, the Harley-Davidson Museum, and the Miller and Pabst Breweries. The Milwaukee Waterfront is also worth visiting on a nice summer day.


The Historic Third Ward is home to restaurants with sidewalk tables, scenic river walks, the Milwaukee Public Market, shops, and the National Bobblehead Museum and Hall of Fame. There is also a collection of local breweries in town: Good City Brewing, MobCraft Beer Brewery, Third Space Brewery, Lakefront Brewery, Sprecher Brewery, and Great Lakes Distillery.


Fans 3

There is a good showing of fans who are there for an affordable night out at the ballpark and a few taking a curiosity in the new independent club in town. Fans are keeping score from their seats, many are mingling with friends, and folks are enjoying the new car smell of the ballpark.


Access 4

Franklin Field is located 15 miles south of downtown Milwaukee off of S.R. 36 and near the interstates of 94 and 43. General Mitchell International Airport is less than 10 minutes to the east. The best option is by car to a Milkmen's game.


The stadium is wide open, and the concourse wraps around the seating bowl. It can become a little congested near the concession stands, but the rest of the stadium offers plenty of room to move around and vantage points for photos from visitors.


Return on Investment 4

The Milkmen tickets start at $11 for their version of grass berm seats dubbed “The Pastures” and bleacher and terrace seating sell for $14. Other ticket prices include the Dugout Seats for $18 and Scout seats for $20.


The Leinenkugel Hop Yard includes an All-You-Can-Eat area until the 7th inning. Merchandise ranges from shirts for $22 to ball caps for $30, concession items are as low as $4 for a locally made hot dog to $8 for a fried chicken sandwich, and the parking is free of charge.


There are daily themes at the games: Thirsty Thursdays, where beer is a buck, Buy-One-Get-One-Free ticket nights, Freinds & Family Deals, and Mexican Fiesta, where the Milkmen become the Lecheros de Milwaukee and wear specialty jerseys. It is incorporated with additional tables, stands, and in-between innings of entertainment.


Extras 3

The Milkmen earn a few extra points for creating an atmosphere that blends well with is "America's Dairyland" theme. The team and ballpark's colors of black and white are distinctive throughout the venue. The Ballpark Commons is an active area with restaurants, stores, and golf bays that can create full-day activities for fans at the game. The stadium earns a final point for free parking.


Final Thoughts

Franklin Field is not your ordinary baseball stadium. It blends in well with the neighborhood, and it will only be challenged by the imagination of its architects. The enthusiasm by the game day staff dressed as milkmen, and the numerous dairyland themes make for an alternative to watching professional baseball in Milwaukee.


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Follow all of Marc’s stadium journeys on Twitter @ballparkhunter and his YouTube channel. Email at Marc.Viquez@stadiumjourney.com 



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