MILWAUKEE -- With Miller Park's first Cubs-Brewers series set for April 19-21, Brewers COO Rick Schlesinger would like to spread the word that the days of "Wrigley Field North" are over.
"I think there are two perceptions out there in the local market here: That the Cubs games here at Miller Park are sold out and tickets are impossible to get, and that it is overrun with Cubs fans so you feel like you're at a visiting ballpark," Schlesinger said. "The reality is different."
As of Thursday afternoon, the Brewers were in the low 30,000s for presale tickets purchased for the Friday series opener, and just shy of 40,000 for the Saturday and Sunday games. Sunday is George "Boomer" Scott bobblehead day at the 42,000-seat ballpark.
And in terms of allegiances, the Brewers have noted many more buyers from Wisconsin zip codes than Illinois -- about 80 percent to 20 percent, Schlesinger said.
This was not always the case.
"It was a tough ticket to get, obviously, in the 2005-08 period, when the Cubs were playoff-contending and selling out Wrigley Field, and our team was in transition," Schlesinger said. "The ballpark had a lot of Cubs fans, and they were wearing their Cubs colors, and candidly, a lot of our Brewers fans felt that the Cubs fans were invading and creating what they would call 'Wrigley Field North.'"
Schlesinger and other club officials heard from fans who were so put off by the "road game" atmosphere that they stopped attending games against the Cubs.
The club's worry, Schlesinger said, is that those fans are still staying away, even though the atmosphere has changed.
"The Brewer fans are the majority," he said. "It's become much more of a 'home' feel to the games, which is what we want. My message is that if you're a Brewers fan and you want to see the Brewers play the Cubs at Miller Park, you're going to be among friends."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy.