Are the Milwaukee Brewers the Next Ballclub to Threaten to Leave Their City?
I think most Chicago Cubs fans know that
Miller Park American Family Field Wrigley North is not necessarily the best stadium in Major League Baseball. I like the tailgating outside the ballpark, but the experience inside is mediocre.
Still, I didn’t know that it was a situation where the Commissioner of MLB was going to start the public pressure campaign to ensure funding would be available for renovations and upgrades. But that’s what is happening in Wisconsin, where the stadium is publicly-owned and leased to the Brewers through 2030.
There’s a $400+ million renovation plan making the rounds in the state, and Commissioner Rob Manfred seemingly wants the legislators to know that not funding the renovations could be a mistake:
To be clear, there is no public threat to move coming from Manfred or from the Brewers at this point. They are merely pointing out what can happen.
The report indicates that MLB is seeking $448 million in renovation funding for American Family Field over the next 20 years, while the Governor has proposed $290 million in his latest budget. It’s not clear whether that gap would cause more serious threats to emerge, but it’s also not clear whether even that $290 million will be approved by the legislature. I would think, since the stadium is publicly-owned, they will approve SOME significant level of funding (to renovate and upkeep their own property). But will it be enough? Is this all just tap dancing?
It’s hard to imagine the Brewers leaving Milwaukee, but I suppose the organization and the league will want to leave that threat tacitly on the table over the next few years to ensure they get the renovations they seek.
Note, by the way, the MLB is playing the part of the heavy, so the Brewers don’t have to be the bad guy (to me that means even MLB knows it’s highly likely that the Brewers will stay long-term):