OCONOMOWOC — A new professional baseball team is coming to Oconomowoc and work is already underway for the debut season in 2022.
"It's a long time coming," Diamond Club Entertainment co-owner Tom Kelenic says. "We've been working on this for about four years."
Tom Kelenic is one of the owners bringing American Association baseball to the Lake Country.
"With what we've done over at Infinity Fields and you know, to think that's ten years old already," Kelenic says. "It was really my personal next step, you know of owning a franchise. And with the rich tradition of baseball in Oconomowoc, it was kind of a no-brainer to be here."
While dirt is dug, with home plate and the bases staked out, the goal is baseball at this time next year.
"Well we'll definitely be on the schedule for 2022," Kelenic says.
And you can play a part in naming the team.
"You know we have the name the team contest that went out with the press release. I think that expires May 28, I believe," Kelenic says. "So we really want the community's input on this, because they've been so supportive."
They will have a natural rival in the Milwaukee Milkmen and owner Mike Zimmerman.
"I told Mike, you know Mike and I have gotten close over the years. And I just told him, you know, enjoy this last year of you winning a title. Because it's not going to happen moving forward," Kelenic says.
And if you don't think baseball runs deep with Tom, you might know the Kelenic name, and how his son Jarred lived out a family dream by homering in his second big league game with the Mariners.
"So it was an emotional night. But all happy that he succeeded you know, for the short term. It isn't just getting there, it's, you gotta stay there," Kelenic says.
Lance Allan of TMJ4 Sports: "Did you think you'd get as much TV time as him?"
"I don't want that much TV time!" Kelenic says.
Lance Allan: "He did it on night two, rather than his debut night on night one. Doing it for the dramatic or whatever, do you ever tease him about that and say 'oh come on?'"
"Well I think he's got more followers because it didn't happen the first night," Kelenic says.
When finished, the stadium will seat around 3,500 fans. Beyond baseball, concerts, food trucks, movies and church events will be featured.