MADISON, Wis. (WMDX) – A pair of bills to finance renovations at American Family Field, the home of the Milwaukee Brewers, were signed into law by Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday.
The bipartisan bills will keep the Milwaukee Brewers in Milwaukee through 2050. In exchange, Wisconsin taxpayers will provide over a half-billion dollars for stadium renovations to American Family Field.
Milwaukee Brewers officials sought public money for its home venue, citing needed repairs and updates to keep it up to the standards of other stadiums in Major League Baseball. The venue, which opened in 2001 as Miller Park, also hosts concerts and other sporting events throughout the year.
The plan will send $365.8 million in state money and $135 million from the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County, while the team would kick in $150 million. The difference between what the team was seeking and what legislators were willing to shell out from public dollars will be made up with ticket surcharges to non-baseball events, which would bring an additional $20.7 million to the renovation projects.
For the Brewers, the non-relocation clause includes a stipulation that they will play all of their home games during their lease of the stadium. The plan also creates a 13-member stadium board.
“I’ve always believed we’d find a way to get this done, and today is yet another great example of what we can accomplish when we work together, find common ground, and put politics aside to do what’s best for Wisconsin,” Evers said in a release.
Brewers officials celebrated the passed legislation in a release sent out after the state Senate vote.
“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,” Rick Schlesinger, President of Business Operations for the Milwaukee Brewers, said.
Forbes estimates the Milwaukee Brewers are worth $1.605 billion, placing the franchise in the middle of the MLB pack in terms of franchise value. Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio is reported to have a net worth over $700 million.
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