Manfred To Wisconsin Politicians: Spend Money On Milwaukee Stadium Or Else

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Manfred is angry with Wisconsin elected officials.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred rode into Milwaukee and let Milwaukee and Wisconsin politicians know who the boss is. It is Manfred and wants Milwaukee and Wisconsin elected officials to get money together, more than $400 million, and fix up the Milwaukee Brewers’ home field or else. His blank assessment of the 22-year-old stadium is that the ballpark is not being maintained properly and will become a problem like Oakland. Manfred did not threaten that the business would move but by bringing up John Fisher’s impending business move from Oakland to Las Vegas it is an implied threat. Manfred told reporters it’s important that a ballpark funding plan be promptly approved by government officials. Manfred underscored the point and took a shot at Wisconsin politicians who are not yet on board with spending about four hundred million dollars in renovating the Milwaukee baseball park. Citing the Oakland situation, Manfred went after local politicians who he claimed “made some unfortunate decisions not to maintain the ballpark in the way that it needed to be maintained. It resulted in a decline in the attendance which had an impact on the quality of the product that the team could afford to put on the field.”

Ironically Milwaukee landed its first Major League Baseball team because Milwaukee elected officials in 1950 decided to fund a stadium. Lou Perini who owned the Boston Braves, a franchise that could not get people out to Braves Field in the early 1950s, started looking around for greener pastures and knew that Milwaukee city officials were intending on getting an MLB franchise. Milwaukee was the first city to put up taxpayers’ dollars to build a facility. Perini took the offer and moved his team in the middle of spring training in 1953.  Now Wisconsin lawmakers have to decide if they will give into Manfred’s hostile position.

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Evan can be reached at evan_weiner@hotmail.com