Lakeshore Chinooks get new owners, plan for more events at Kapco Park

Ricardo Torres
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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The Lakeshore Chinooks play at Kapco Park at Concordia University in Mequon.

Fans of the Lakeshore Chinooks will likely see some changes to the team and at Kapco Park next summer as the organization has new owners. 

David Casey and Todd Kolosso, owners of Milwaukee Baseball Academy, bought the Chinooks and have spent the last three weeks learning the staff and the process.  

“You’re always learning when you run a business,” Casey said. “We’ve been in control here for about three weeks ... we’re learning our people, we’re learning our processes and we’re going to continue to do so to make sure we put the best product out there for our fans.” 

The Chinooks are a summer collegiate baseball team in the Northwoods League and play their home games at Kapco Park on the campus of Concordia University in Mequon. MBA is a Menomonee Falls-based company that provides instruction and leagues for players ages six to 18.

“As long as we can keep the community focus that we have and continue to put high value offerings in the form of concessions, event opportunities for our sponsors, and a good ball team on the field, I think we’ve got absolutely nothing to worry about,” Kolosso said. 

Casey said the previous owners “did a good job laying down he foundation for what the Chinooks are.” 

The previous owners led by Kapco president Jim Kacmarcik, included Milwaukee Brewers legends Robin Yount and broadcast legend Bob Uecker. 

“The former Chinooks owners have been very good to deal with in the sense that they provided us with a lot of answers to help us ease our transition,” Kolosso said. “Clearly there’s a steep learning curve when you step into a business like this, but we’ve had the benefit of the knowledge of our forbearers without having to worry about them disappearing.” 

Both Casey and Kolosso said there will be a “firewall” between Milwaukee Baseball Academy and the Chinooks, meaning players won’t be using MBA facilities and vice versa.  

“The Chinooks opportunity is really a community opportunity to really connect with the community, our fans, with the Chinooks and reach a different and more broad audience than MBA does,” Casey said.  

Among some of the changes coming to the organization plan to be the use of Kapco Park. 

“We want to increase the visibility of the field to our various sponsor partners,” Kolosso said. “We want to make more event opportunities to these different partners so that they can get their own employees out and get their own brand out there.” 

Some non-baseball ideas being considered for the field include graduation ceremonies, concerts and other corporate events.  

“We are in a partnership with Concordia over there, so we are always cognizant of a community responsibility that what we bring there is in line with Concordia’s values and their brand as well,” Kolosso said. 

Miguel Betencourt, marketing manager for the Chinooks, said the new owners have already started motivating the staff members.  

“They’re going to be willing to try new and different things all the time,” Betencourt said. “They’re definitely energized.” 

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