MILWAUKEE -- Dozens of half-packed duffel bags dotted the Brewers' clubhouse on Wednesday, signs that their scheduled trip to Miami was still a "go" as the day began. Then, there was a change of plans.With Miami recovering from Hurricane Irma, Major League Baseball and the Marlins requested that this weekend's
MILWAUKEE -- Dozens of half-packed duffel bags dotted the Brewers' clubhouse on Wednesday, signs that their scheduled trip to Miami was still a "go" as the day began. Then, there was a change of plans.
With Miami recovering from Hurricane Irma, Major League Baseball and the Marlins requested that this weekend's series between the Brewers and Marlins be relocated to Miller Park. Discounted tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. CT on Thursday for games at 7:10 p.m. CT on Friday, 6:10 p.m. CT on Saturday and 1:10 p.m. CT on Sunday -- with the Marlins as the home team.
"Marlins Park stood ready to host the games, but we all agreed that burdening public service resources was not the proper course of action," Marlins president David Samson said in a statement. "Following Hurricane Irma, the Miami Marlins realize that all of our employees, as well as our entire community, have other needs that must take a priority at this time."
The Marlins will return home to host the Mets for a series beginning Monday, Samson said.
Brewers chief operating officer Rick Schlesinger said he received a call from MLB COO Tony Petitti at lunchtime Wednesday asking whether they could accommodate the games. Schlesinger made a few calls, then responded 30 minutes later that they could pull it off.
The Brewers have hosted games on short notice before. In 2007, Miller Park hosted an Angels-Indians series because of a spring snowstorm in Cleveland. In 2008, the Cubs and Astros played a series here after Hurricane Ike hit Houston.
Attendance will be capped for all three games against the Marlins due to staffing issues. Only the lower seating bowl will be open on Friday night, a capacity of about 10,000. For the Saturday and Sunday games, the loge level will also be open, increasing capacity to about 23,000.
Tickets will cost $20 for Field Diamond Box, $15 for Field Infield Box and $10 for all other seating areas, and they will be limited to eight per person, per game. Tickets will be available through Brewers.com/Marlins.
The Marlins were in Atlanta when Irma roared around the tip of Florida and have moved on to Philadelphia.
"I'm not surprised at all [that the series was moved]. I'm surprised by the location," Dee Gordon said. "But it is what it is. You have to play it out. It's part of being in the big leagues. And I don't think that any of us would trade that for a regular job."
Said Marlins manager Don Mattingly: "Learning more about the community and people who work there and all that is obviously more important than our games. Seems like the right decision to me."
The Brewers had been in a holding pattern while awaiting word from the Marlins and MLB. Schlesinger said he was unaware of any discussions between the parties about moving the series to a neutral site.
The decision to move the series means the Brewers, 2 1/2 games behind the Cubs in the National League Central and four games behind the Rockies in the race for the second NL Wild Card entering play Wednesday, will play 13 of their final 16 games at Miller Park.
"From my personal perspective, I wish we were playing the games in Miami because that means things are back to normal," Schlesinger said. "First and foremost, we're doing this because there has been a lot damage done in South Florida. Priorities there are obviously on safety and getting things back in order. I'm not personally focused on the competitive component of this. To me, it's, 'Let's do what we can.' We have a short amount of time to make this happen. We're all partners in this enterprise."
Cubs manager Joe Maddon has no problem with Milwaukee getting another set of games at Miller Park.
"Obviously something had to be done. I have no issues with it," Maddon said. "The situation being as severe as it is, it's no time to quibble over situations like this. You're getting into the latter part of the season and whatever MLB thinks is fine is fine. It's about making sure the games are played."
Many Brewers staffers and players, including manager Craig Counsell, had been closely following the news in the wake of the storm because they have family and homes there. Reliever Anthony Swarzak just bought a home along the intercostal waterway two offseasons ago.
"It seems like a smart decision from everything I've seen down there," Swarzak said. "Let's leave those hotel rooms for people who really need them."
Counsell's parents and sister rode out the storm in Fort Myers.
"Obviously there's a lot of demand on the services down there, and I understand why we're having to stay here for the weekend," Counsell said. "So you roll with it, and we'll stay here for the weekend. Obviously it's not difficult for us to do, and we'll just roll with it.
"I hope it turns out to be an advantage; I'm not going to lie to you. But we've got to play the games, and we all know how that goes. They're going to be three tough games. We'll get through them. They're going to be Major League, tough games against a very good team."
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.