According to my research, and this comes from a few sources, the first recorded game of baseball occurred on June 19th, 1846. Do the math and let that sink in. When you think about it, it’s pretty mind blowing. Of course, baseball, like its country of origin, has evolved during the last 175 years, but it still entertains curious, avid, and casual fans alike. My blog topic, even if it is 20 years old, is a testament to that evolution.
American Family Field, originally known as Miller Park, is home of the Milwaukee Brewers. And despite the Brewers having never won a World Series, and only participating in one, their fan attendance ranks in the top third of Major League franchises- at least according 2019’s records.
It says something about Brewers fans, but, considering Milwaukee’s volatile spring and fall weather patterns, it’s also speaks of the ball club’s front office- especially their foresight to build a retractable roof stadium. Here, in American Family Field, there will never be a game postponed because of rain or snow. Heck, there’s an incredibly slim chance of a rain delay. Basically, what I’m getting at is, you don’t have to pray for sunny weather when planning to attend a game. The game’s going to happen! (Unless a pandemic strikes)
But the allure is not simply a climate controlled stadium. The attendance record is also bolstered by a very competitive Brewers team. I know, I just mentioned that the home team has never won a World Series. However, they have made the playoffs the past three years, and this year’s version is off to a great start.
There’s also fun stuff taking place before and during the game too. After a homerun, Bernie Brewer descends down a slide, being perched high above the crowd in his chalet. Accompanying Bernie’s trip, fireworks explode overhead-celebrating the long ball. Of course, the racing sausages, which run around the diamond in the middle of the sixth inning, have been a fan favorite spanning over a generation. Along with the jocular and trendy happenings, century old traditions also persist in this state of the art venue.
As an added bonus, seeing how Wisconsinites love to tailgate, American Family Field’s parking lots have amenities to accommodate such endeavors. Outside the stadium, in parking areas, safety bins for hot ash and coal, restrooms, not to mention bags of ice for coolers, are all within reach.
If you’re wondering what tailgating is, I’ll make it simple. It’s basically a party celebrating an upcoming game. Hours before their team takes the field, fans will congregate in small groups at a stadium’s parking lot. Many will cook tons of goodies using barbecue grills. Tops on a tailgater’s list are brats, hotdogs, burgers and beer.
When you enter American Family Field, which you can do an hour and a half before first pitch, you’ll want to check out the Team Store. It’s pretty pricy, yet perusing imaginative ways to commemorate a game is always fun. When roaming this store, I can’t help but utter that cliche phrase, “Just when you think you’ve seen it all!”
So after tailgating, a bit of shopping, and participating in other activities abounding on the concourse, you enter American Family Field’s field area, discovering a state of the art atmosphere. When you find you’re seat, and the lush grassy field is spread before you, you’ll swear you’re outdoors. Except, it was fifty degrees outside, and it’s sixty eight inside. You’ll look up and find a greenish, fan shaped roof high above. Around the playing field, LCD ribbons, lights, music and the buzz of the crowd set an ambiance impossible to duplicate.
If the weather is perfect outdoors, they’ll peel back the lid and let the sunshine in. There’s also panels that can be opened when the roof is closed, giving the stadium an open air aura. With American Family Field, it’s the best of both worlds.
Of course, You’re probably wondering, “How much does attending a Brewer game cost?” Well, weekday tickets range from $18-$110. The $110 dollar seats are on the party decks, and usually include some free concessions. And concessions are pricey. I spent $46 on a hotdog, brat and three beers. So, take that into account when figuring what you can spend.
Also, keep in mind that you’ll have to pay for parking. If you don’t mind a short stroll, you can find a spot for $15. There are areas closer to the stadium, but, depending where you’re seats are, you might still have a trek to your perch.
If your budget is really tight, and you’re dying to see a game, pay attention to promotions. There are some ways to earn free $18 tickets. Heidi and I participate in a ticket giveaway from the local BP gas station. After so many fill ups, we can earn tickets to selected upcoming games.
I urge you to shop around too; sometimes you can find deals from third party brokers. And while I’m on the subject, choose your game wisely. The $18-$110 price range is for weekday games. Weekend series and premier games, such as Cubs games, demand a bit more cash.
Also, if you want a little bang for your buck, check the promotional calendar online. You’ll find that keepsakes, such as Tee’s and bobbleheads, are handed out on certain days. Show up early, these promotional trinkets are usually given on a first come, first serve basis.
And one more thing, during this season’s first half, the stadium can only reach one fourth its capacity. So if your attending a game that has its competitive allure, seek seats early.
Now that I’ve rattled off the main draws, if you’re interested in a Milwaukee Brewers game, it is certainly a memorable event. Not only is there a quality game on the field, but American Family Field and the Brewers’ staff ensure entertainment value, no matter what the score happens to be. Plus, this venue wasn’t simply thrown together to give Milwaukee a baseball team. It’s a destination that has, you, the fan in mind.