Milwaukee Brewers say they are 'open to ideas' on charitable giving after big gift from taxpayers
Now that state legislation has been signed, helping the Milwaukee Brewers with stadium maintenance projects for the next 27 years, how will the team help Milwaukee County residents?
After all, the measure that Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers inked Tuesday would have the city and county of Milwaukee direct about $68 million apiece of sales tax revenue to big repairs at American Family Field. Visitors to the area would pay a lot of those taxes, but local residents would likely pay the majority.
Following the bill signing, WUWM asked officials about the ballclub maybe having more discount admission nights for city and county residents or the Brewers Community Foundation, the team's charitable arm, doing more for the disadvantaged.
Brewers Principal Owner Mark Attanasio answered:
"It's a good question. We strive to be a leader in the community, and you can't do enough. We do a lot to bring school kids in. I also focus frankly on the elderly. You always talk about kids and baseball. But, my 95-year-old mom is glued to the television every day because she follows the club, and we're always open to ideas on how to integrate more into the community. So, I'll commit to that," Attanasio said.
Both Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley and Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson say the Brewers have already been good partners.
But if the team is open to more community spending, Johnson mentions the city's Camp Rise program.
"It's a summer youth jobs program. We have to continually fundraise to keep that program running, providing opportunities for kids who live in challenged neighborhoods to have mentorship, opportunities to see beyond some of the negative stuff in their neighborhood. The Brewers Community Foundation could possibly be a partner in helping fund that, to make sure kids have those opportunities as well," Johnson told WUWM.
At the top of County Executive Crowley's line-up card — parks.
"I mean one, I want to make sure we continue to focus on our vision of being the healthiest community in the state of Wisconsin. Our parks do that. And when you think about the Brewers values — one being a good corporate citizen, making sure we continue to invest in outdoor activities — this not only helps out young people. This also helps out everyone, no matter what age they are," Crowley told WUWM.
The state of Wisconsin will steer $366 million in income taxes on players and other Brewers employees into stadium maintenance. The Brewers say they'll provide $150 million in funding.
About $19 million in revenue is expected from the sale of license plates with a Brewers logo, and a ticket tax on non-Brewers events at American Family Field