Rafters Reach Extension Agreement for Lease at Witter Field
New lease has Rafters calling Witter Field home for the next eleven seasons
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.- The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters have reached an agreement with the City of Wisconsin Rapids to extend their Witter Field lease through the 2030 season. The Rafters were entering the last season of its previous lease agreement. The lease extension was the final step in the ownership transfer of the organization from Big Top Sports and Entertainment to new owners Joe and Vince Fonti, current owners of the Furniture & ApplianceMart/Ashley Homestore brands.
The new lease brings a wave of improvements to Witter Field. Fans can even expect numerous improvements to occur prior to the start of the 2020 season. The fan experience is the first area of concentration. The Point Craft River will increase in size to accompany an additional 50 fans. The size increase will create a secondary option for groups of 20 plus looking for an intimate area within the park. A new bar, tables, and more standing room will be the notable inclusions.
The Accounting Plus Home Plate Club will increase its size as well. Opened in 2013, the Accounting Plus Home Plate Club has become one of the most sought-after areas to sit when taking in a Rafters game. Due to growth of interest, the area will add four tables, totaling 16 seats. The additional seats will see the same amenities many have grown to love within the Accounting Plus Home Plate Club. Padding will be added to face of the Club to increase the standard of player safety for all who play at Witter Field.
A few face lifts to Witter are expected start in the springtime. The men’s and women’s bathroom are to be renovated. In addition, the outfield wall will see its fair share of changes. The wood currently on the face of the wall will be removed and replaced with a padded wall system. “The wall project was fueled by an effort to continue to improve our standard for player safety at Witter Field.” said General Manager Andy Francis.
Fans can also expect to be spending more time at Witter Field in the future for non-Rafters games. Included in the lease is the ability and expectation that Witter Field will be used for more special events. The increase in events will be seen as early as the 2020 calendar year.
Any questions regarding the ownership change or the new lease can be answered at the new ownership Meet & Greet held at Great Expectations in Wisconsin Rapids on Thursday, February 27th from 6pm to 8pm. The event will start with a Q&A at six and will be followed with non-structured time to hold interviews, additional questions, and private conversations.
The Rafters Home Opener is slated for 6:05pm on Wednesday, May 27th against the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders. For more information on the different ticket packages visit Raftersbaseball.com, call the Rafthouse at 715-424-5400, or visit Historic Witter Field. The Rafthouse is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday at Witter Field, 521 Lincoln Street in Wisconsin Rapids.
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 26th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 230 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB All-Star Jordan Zimmermann (DET). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.raftersbaseball.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Rafters as your favorite team.