In 2001 the Milwaukee Brewers opened Miller Park, one of the new generations of baseball parks.
Miller Park combines the atmosphere and nostalgia of ballparks long since past. It features
modern fan comforts and entertainment/dining options, a striking seven panel retractable
roof and companion retractable wall in the outfield shelter the fans from the elements
when the weather is bad.
Miller Park replaces the old County Stadium, which had been located on the same grounds
as this venue, just 3 miles west of downtown. County Stadium served as the home of the
Brewers and prior to that, the Milwaukee Braves. The ballpark was actually scheduled to
open in 2000, but in the summer of 1999 a horrific construction accident occurred, when a
crane tumbled on the roof, killing three construction workers and causing heavy damage.
In addition to this tragedy, major delays were caused, pushing Opening Day back by a full
For Milwaukeeans, it was worth the wait!...
Getting to the venue
Just outside of downtown, access to Miller Park is simple via a well-designed parkway
system and ample parking. While we roadtrippers prefer a center city location for our
sports venues, we can't argue with the premise that this was indeed the best place to build
their new ballpark. The Brewers encourage tailgating here, even to the point of offering
concessions and tailgate supplies for sale as well as catering services. Portable lavatories
and hot coal dispensers are also provided here.
The ballpark is an architectural wonder - its mammoth brick facade is crowned by a seven
panel retractable roof, with sweeping arches and the configuration of a fan that opens and
closes. Atop the stadium are massive skylights above the first and third base sides, which
flood the interior with natural light. The exterior of the building is smartly decorated with
banners and photos of the Brewers players, while outside the main entrance are statues of
Hank Aaron and Robin Yount. Work is still underway on the grounds, with landscaping
being installed, and a monument honoring the men and women who built Miller Park, as
well as the three workers who perished. Lastly, on the site of the old County Stadium, a
children's baseball park will soon be built, available also for local teams and little league.
We first saw this at the Ballpark in Arlington... very nice!
WOW! Miller Park offers the largest public spaces in all of baseball and we are not
exaggerating. Mammoth, canyon wide concourses, all brightly lit and decorated can be
found at all levels. To add to this feeling of space, the lowest levels are actually broken into
two levels - field and loge, each with its own concourse. Views of the field can also be
enjoyed from down here.
Along the left field line you find the "Hot Corner". Here is the center of activity for fan
amenities at Miller Park. At field level you can visit a TGI Friday's Front Row Grill, open year
round as well as on game days with a view of the field from all tables. Quotes from Yogi
Berra ("Yogiisms") and great memorabilia adorn the walls.
Across the hallway is a large team store, and the unique feature here is "Autograph Alley",
where for a contribution to Brewers Charities, you can sign your own baseball and have it
displayed in a glass case in the store for posterity. Also at field level are the Walls Of
Honor, a small museum honoring Wisconsin's contributions to the Negro Leagues, the All
American Girls Professional Baseball League, and Wisconsin natives who have donned the
On the club level is the "300 club", a membership restaurant similar to our Harbour Club
offering a buffet and an upscale lounge. Memorabilia saluting baseball greats who either
sported a 300 batting average or 300 wins on the mound covers the walls here.
At the loge level is an interactive games area for the youngsters. We visited the ballpark
the day after the game to enjoy lunch at Fridays... the Hot Corner was full of activity -
people shopping at the store, groups lining up for tours, as well as a good lunch crowd!
Lastly, we want to note some very special murals, which greet you at the main entrance and
can be found throughout the entire venue. The murals are titled "Home to Heroes". Yes,
they celebrate the great baseball players, but these murals also pay tribute to ordinary
Milwaukeeans - the pioneers and immigrants from Germany, Ireland, and other places who
came here and built this city and its great industries - agriculture, brewing, milling,
recreation and manufacturing. As wonderful as any new sports venue can be, it is things
like this that give a building its soul, and as visitors, we could feel the pride of Milwaukee
through these murals.
Club level/Premium seating
62 suites run from foul pole to foul pole along the field and club levels. The club concourse
is climate controlled, and decorated with aerial photos of past and present MLB parks.
(Thumbs up from the roadtrippers!!!) Behind home plate is a lounge area with four
bars/concession stands named after the four venues which have served as the homes for
Milwaukee baseball over the last century. One cool touch was old black and white photos
of great Milwaukee baseball moments, laminated onto the tops of tables!
The seating bowl
This ballpark is broken into four levels, and with a low pitch and few stairs to climb all seats
are easily accessible. A huge video board and companion dot matrix board dominates the
center field, and AL/NL out of town scoreboards hug the walls at the bottom of each foul
pole. When the retractable glass panels along the outfield wall are closed, one can still
enjoy a view of the outside. And of course, the amazing retractable roof and the gigantic
skylights just take your breath away when you see this place for the first time.
We also should mention that there are actually a few "obstructed" seats here - there are 2
poles in the upper deck behind home plate which are there to support the roof. We were
told that the seats behind these poles are called "Bob Uecker Seats", named after the
famed Brewers broadcaster. These seats are sold on game day for only the price of $1.
Of course the big thing here in Milwaukee is the hot dogs, the brats, the sausages. On our
visit to County Stadium back in 1999, the heralded sausage was THE staple, sold in stands
appropriately named "The Sausage Haus". Here at Miller Park, the brats are still in
evidence, but have been buried in the diverse menu, which includes things such as pita
wraps and chicken sandwiches. Welcome to the new generation of ballparks, we guess!
Milwaukee's famous sausages should have been given more prominence in the food
offerings. But make no mistake - they are among the best in baseball, and wash them down
with a cold Miller or Leinenkugel, brewed right here in Wisconsin! Gorman's Corner, named
after Brewers favorite Gorman Thomas, was brought over from County Stadium and can be
found on the field level concourse at right field.
"Bernie Brewer", the Milwaukee mascot, does his shtick from Bernie's Dugout, high above
the left field foul pole. At the old venue, Bernie would slide into a beer stein each time the
Brewers hit a home run. Now he goes down a slide and lands on a home plate.
The "Sausage Races" are the marquee event at Brewers games - Four mascots, dressed as
a hot dog, a bratwurst, an Italian sausage and a polish sausage scamper down the warning
track in a rump race, usually at the end of the 6th inning. Sound silly? The fans are up on
their feet, shouting and exhorting their favorite towards the finish line, and flashbulbs are
a poppin' everywhere!
We like add-on songs during the seventh inning stretch, and here in Milwaukee they add
two choruses of THEIR song - "The Beer Barrel Polka", after the traditional "Take Me Out To
the Ballgame" . Of course we joined in the singing... EVERYBODY was singing, so how
could we not?!
Four retired numbers - those of Hank Aaron, Robin Yount, Paul Molitor and Rollie Fingers
hang high above the outfield panels. Their banners are also displayed in the loge level
atrium and outside behind the main entrance. As far as championship banners - the Braves
won a World Series in '57 and the Brewers got there in '82. Where are the championship
Runs, Hits, Errors
Hit - Former Buffalo Bisons on the Brewers roster - Jeromy Burnitz, Richie Sexson, David
Weathers and Paul Rigdon. Richie has become a real fan favorite!
Run - As always, we extend our thanks to the Brewers front office for their hospitality. Jon
Greenberg, Media Relations, furnished us photo credentials which enabled us to get some
great shots, and Michael Bucek, VP/Ballpark Development gave us a tour of the park and an
interview. Thanks to both and we induct Jon and Michael into the Ultimate Sports Road Trip
Hall of Fame!
Hit - Charles Auer of CNI Newspapers in Milwaukee interviewed us for a story, which will
run in their publication sometime soon.
Error - Whoops, we had a splotch on our lens and all our outside shots of this venue were
ruined. Sorry. Hmmm, does that mean we have to go back??? NOT A PROBLEM!
Error - For the third time in a month we ran into Mr. Baseball, Bob Uecker (first 2 were at
PNC and Pac Bell). We are STILL waiting for our first smile and a hint of that persona that we
so loved in Mr. Belvedere and Major League.
Hmm... brick facade, wrought iron fences, mosaic brick pavement, green seats, retro feel.
Have we seen this? All nice, very nice, but what would elevate this venue above its peer
facilities in Seattle, Denver, and Baltimore among others. Answer... Four levels of seating,
yet an intimate feel to the place, magnificent concourses, all the great touches you find in
the new places, and a retractable roof and walls which are not only functional, but are an
architectural marvel and a true symbol for the City of Milwaukee and even the State of
Wisconsin. This was our third visit to Milwaukee on the Ultimate Sports Road Trip, and quite
frankly, these Milwaukeeans captured our hearts. They are friendly, warm, hard-working ,
and small town and very much like the folks here in Buffalo. And they LOVE their sports
teams. This is truly one of the finest venues in all of Major League Baseball.
Fan Support 5.5
Concourses/fan comfort 9
Hot Corner 2; 7th inning stretch 2; Sausage race 2; Bernie Brewer 2; Tailgating 1