Milwaukee Brewers assess financial needs in possible bid for more public funding
As the weather starts heating up, many Milwaukeeans are looking toward the summer ahead — beach trips, custard stands and baseball games. But when fans head to a Brewers game at American Family Field, they could be paying more for their purchases. The team is currently assessing the costs of ongoing maintenance at the field, a sum that could top $100 million.
"They've got a lease that currently lasts through 2030, the club then does have options to extend that lease as late as 2040. And the Brewers have [said] that they're concerned that the Stadium District, which is the public entity that owns the stadium and leases it to the ball club, ... might not have enough money set aside to do maintenance work at the stadium through the life of that lease," says Tom Daykin, a reporter who covered this story for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The field itself was in part funded through public money, which included a special tax allocated by the State of Wisconsin for the project. While it may seem unclear why these kinds of private projects are eligible for public funding, Daykin says that these projects are consistently given public funds in cities throughout the country and not doing so can cause a team to leave for a city or municipality that will give them these funds.
"The reality is, as a community, if you want to have a Major League Baseball team or an NFL franchise or NBA team, you are probably going to have to provide some public money to build and maintain that facility," he explains.
The assessment by the Brewers should be released in summer of 2022.