Aviators Stadium is up for sale as sports team explores other op - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Aviators Stadium is up for sale as sports team explores other options

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LOVES PARK (WREX) - The home of the Rockford Aviators is going up on the auction block.

According to its listing, Aviators Stadium is owned by Northside Community Bank.

Bidding will begin in March and close on April 2.

The minimum bid is $1.5 million.

The Rockford Aviators released a statement about the stadium auction.

MKE Sport & Entertainment said it was informed weeks ago that Northside Community Bank, which holds the lease to Aviators Stadium, would be putting the stadium on the auction block.

"Yes, we are aware of the situation and understand the bank's position," said MKE Owner Mike Zimmerman.  "It's very rare for a baseball team owner to also own a stadium and typically a poor investment when they do. The Aviators are not in the business of owning stadiums. Typically stadiums are owned in part or whole by some form of government given the catalytic nature of a venue like this."

Zimmerman said the Rockford Aviators have a lease with the bank through the 2015 season.  He said he is confidant the Aviators will be playing baseball at Love's Park this season.

As for the long term plan, Zimmerman said, "Last summer we were introduced to the opportunity to manage the Rockford Aviators. As we considered this opportunity, we learned of the Reclaiming First Project and met with the Rockford Park District about a potential private, public partnership. In the months since our first meeting, the park district and MKE Sports have had preliminary discussions on how we might work together to leverage the team, its stadium and the expanding Sportscore Two complex. The possibilities are truly powerful and are the reasons we want to be in Rockford for the long term."

Zimmerman said the Rockford Park District has visited MKE Sports headquarters in Milwaukee to identify ways to work together as recently as two weeks ago.

The Rockford Aviators begin their 2015 season Friday, May 15, on the road against the Gateway Grizzlies.

Opening Day at Aviators Stadium will be Tuesday, May 19.
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