Wisconsin Politicians Find Money To Renovate Brewers’ Milwaukee Stadium

The team will remain in Milwaukee until 2050.

Last May, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred rode into Milwaukee and let Milwaukee and Wisconsin politicians know who the boss is. It is Manfred and he wanted Milwaukee and Wisconsin elected officials to get money together, more than $400 million, and fix up the Milwaukee Brewers’ home field or else. The or else never came as Wisconsin politicians acquiesced and will now spend about $500 million in state money for renovations and the maintenance of the publicly owned Milwaukee Brewers’ stadium. The team will remain in town through 2050. The stadium is just 22 years old and according to Manfred is falling apart. Manfred used a strong armed tactic. The threat that the franchise would move elsewhere unless Wisconsin taxpayers ponied up hundreds of millions of dollars to renovate the ballpark.

Major League Baseball owners are not warm and fuzzy people. The 30 owners are among the most powerful business people in the world and are not accustomed to being told no. Somehow the Milwaukee stadium renovation turned into politicians claiming that the Brewers baseball team was a state asset. State Senator Dan Feyen, who authored a senate version of the bill claimed the baseball team generates revenue and creates jobs. He asserted, without proof. The team has contributed $2.5 billion to the state’s economy since the stadium opened in 2001, including $24 million in net state revenue and 3,000 jobs in 2022. What Feyen did not point out is how the jobs were created by the team. The average Major League Baseball team employs around 500 people and about half of the employees are on a per diem basis doing such jobs as selling concessions, food and parking cars for minimum wage working 81 days a year. Milwaukee keeps its baseball team for another 26 years thanks to taxpayers’ funding.

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Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Brandon Woodruff throws to a Tampa Bay Rays batter during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)