MILWAUKEE – Following today’s bipartisan vote in the State Senate on historic legislation that would extend the Milwaukee Brewers lease at American Family Field to at least 2050, Rick Schlesinger, President - Business Operations for the Milwaukee Brewers, released the following statement:
“This vote by a bipartisan majority of the State Senate is a historic moment, not only allowing the Stadium District to meet its obligations to maintain the ballpark but paving the way for the Brewers to remain in Wisconsin for the next generation. We appreciate the leadership in the legislature and among local officials, and beginning with that of Governor Evers, as we worked with all stakeholders to help build support for a creative solution that would protect taxpayers.
“Baseball is a game enjoyed by working families all across the state, and we are grateful to be near a final agreement to keep Major League Baseball in Milwaukee for all to enjoy. The MMAC study demonstrated that American Family Field has contributed north of $2.5 billion in statewide economic impact since opening its doors in 2001, and by extending the ballpark’s useful life, we are working to preserve an important economic driver for the future.
“The Brewers will continue to collaborate with all stakeholders in the days and weeks ahead, as policymakers work on the final steps to put legislation on the desk of Governor Evers. As the Brewers landlord, the Stadium District needs resources to honor its current lease agreement with its tenant. Today’s bipartisan vote creates a path to provide those resources.”
Owned primarily by the Stadium District, American Family Field’s sole tenant – and only reason for the facility’s existence – is the Milwaukee Brewers. Under the team’s lease agreement with the Stadium District, the District is responsible for all major capital repairs, all retractable roof repairs, and necessary improvements – including those required for legal or Major League Baseball (MLB) compliance. Under this legislation, the Brewers have pledged to contribute $150 million toward an agreement that also includes existing revenue from the state, and a local contribution.
In addition to the $2.5 billion-plus in direct statewide impact referenced in the study released by the MMAC, the ballpark supported 3,000 jobs in 2022 alone. Total state and county sales taxes generated by Brewers activity at the stadium in 2023 is a projected $24.1 million, and with the new City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County shared revenue legislation, an additional $4.2 million is forecast to be added to that total in 2024.
Located in the smallest market as defined by Major League Baseball, the Brewers require a premier ballpark to drive ticket sales and continue to field competitive teams – making maintenance of the ballpark all the more critical.