Miller Park – Milwaukee Brewers

by | Jul 27, 2016 | James Hilchen, MLB | 0 comments

Fanfare Score

Total Score
3.86

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Miller Time

Miller Park opened for business on April 6, 2001. The hometown Brewers beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-4. It didn’t take long for the most unique feature in the ballpark to be used. With temperatures in the 40’s, the fan-like roof over Miller Park closed, allowing fans to watch the ballgame with an air temperature of 72 degrees. Miller Park replaced the dated Milwaukee County Stadium, which opened in 1953. With a construction cost of $400 million, the ballpark has seen some unique events unfold on its field. In 2008, with Hurricane Ike bearing down on the Houston area, MLB moved two Cubs vs. Astros game to Miller Park. In game one, Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano threw a no-hitter, making Miller Park the first neutral site in MLB history to host a no-hitter. In 2007, MLB took advantage of the roof by moving the Cleveland Indians home-opening series against the Seattle Mariners to Miller Park. Cleveland was having major snow storms at the time.

The ballpark has also hosted numerous concerts, soccer games, and even laid down bowling lanes to host a major bowling event in 2007.

Milwaukee has a rich baseball history and the ballpark celebrates that with many monuments. Among them is a nice monument for the 6,000 workers that built the stadium, including a memorial for three iron workers who died when a crane collapsed while building the stadium.

Food & Beverage 5

Miller Park has all your ballpark food basics covered, and then some. But, let’s be honest, this is Milwaukee and it would be sacrilege to go to a Brewers game without eating a bratwurst. Miller Park has the sausage menu down to a science. You can find all the different iterations from the regular brat to the Polish, Italian sausage, and chorizo. You can get them with every topping imaginable and for a unique taste, try the brachos. What could be better in Milwaukee than kettle chips with bratwurst on them? Another Wisconsin favorite on the menu are fried cheese curds. If you haven’t had them you are missing out. Going to a game on Friday? If you like fish, you are in for a treat. Every Friday, Miller Park has a fish fry to go along with everything else on their giant menu.

A neat feature of Miller Park is a restaurant inside the ballpark. Friday’s is located in the left field corner and you can enjoy a sit down meal before, during, or after the game. The restaurant is open year-round.

Much like the food options, Miller Park offers drink options for every palate. Miller is available throughout the ballpark for obvious reasons, but there are plenty of other options throughout, including microbrews, domestic, and imports. A few brews worth mentioning are Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy and Bernie’s Barrelman Ale. In addition, wine is available throughout the ballpark along with numerous Bloody Mary stations.

Pepsi is the soda choice along with Gatorade, water, and all the other regulars. Milk along with orange and apple juice are available for the kiddos.

Atmosphere 5

The fun begins long before entering the ballpark. Tailgating is taken to another level here, with plenty of it; a scene that would be much more akin to major college football or the NFL. There is plenty to look at around the ballpark, with monuments galore. Before entering the park, the plaza area has statues of Milwaukee greats Hank Aaron, Robin Yount, Bob Uecker, and former commissioner, Bud Selig. In section 422 sits the Bob Uecker “last row” statue. An empty seat sits next to the statue, allowing for a great photo opportunity. Access for photos is limited to pregame only.

A unique display is Autograph Alley in the Hot Corner, Field Level. It is a massive display of autographed baseballs from baseball legends to Brewer fans. There are too many displays to mention all of them but keep your eyes open for monuments honoring the 1901 and 1957 Brewers, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, Latinos in baseball, Milwaukee Braves honor roll, and many others.
Overall, it’s hard to find a bad seat in the ballpark, with two exceptions. The “Uecker” seats are partially obstructed but are only $1, available on game days. It’s also better to avoid the loge bleachers in left field. From that area, views of the scoreboard aren’t very good and the metal bleachers aren’t overly comfortable.

Miller Park does a great job of providing entertainment, independent of the game. The most popular is the famous sausage race. Prior to the bottom of the sixth inning, the bratwurst, polish, Italian, hot dog, and chorizo sausages race around the field. Many other teams today do this type of race, but this is still the best. The 7th inning stretch is also done Milwaukee style, with fans singing and dancing to “Roll Out the Barrell.”

Neighborhood 3

There isn’t much in the way of great restaurants or fun bars within walking distance of the ballpark, but there are still some places worth mentioning. First, many of the area bars have shuttles to and from the game. This is a great way to avoid the parking issues that occur at any big event. Among the numerous places that offer this service is Kelly’s Bleachers. Kelly’s is about a mile north on W Bluemound Road and offers up typical bar fare with plenty of drinks in a fun atmosphere. Also on W Bluemound is Balistreri’s Bluemound Inn. Balistreri’s has been in the restaurant business for almost 50 years. The pizza is great and there are plenty of options on the menu for every taste. As you get away from the ballpark, the food options increase exponentially. Milwaukee is a food town, so look around and enjoy.

A couple non-sport items worth some time are visits to the Miller Brewery and the Harley Davidson Museum. The Miller Brewery tour is free and a fun time. For those over 21, beer is included in the tour. Soda, peanuts, and postcards are available for those that don’t drink, or are under 21. Admission to the Harley Davidson Museum is a bit pricey at $20, but if motorcycles are your thing, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Fans 3

This is a tough one to rate. On the day I attended most recently, the Brewers were playing the Cubs. With Milwaukee an easy drive from Chicago, there were far more Cubs fan in attendance than Brewer fans, and if you went by noise alone, you would swear you were at Wrigley Field. Fans are generally polite and most are engaged in the game. The banter between the fans of both teams is mostly respectable and good-natured. Despite all the tailgating, there are no out of control fans that need to be removed. Fans generally watch the game and are very nice.

Access 3

With Miller Park’s proximity to I-94, it is fairly easy to get to. The construction on the freeway seems perpetual, so it is something that is constantly dealt with. Despite that, the wait time in line to park is minimal. For those that don’t want to park at the ballpark, a bus runs from downtown directly to the park and there are numerous shuttles from bars and restaurants that will pick you up and drop you off. The flow of fans coming into the ballpark moves at a good clip and there aren’t any major delays getting in. Once inside, the concourses move adequately when the stands are full. Miller Park has 33 restrooms for men and 33 for women, so having to wait is a rare occurrence.

Return on Investment 4

Milwaukee is on the lower end of ticket prices in MLB. For weekday games, you can get in the door for as little as $10, depending on opponent. Generally, deals can be had above and beyond the regular prices, except when attending “prime” games such as when the Cubs come to town. Food and drink prices are about what you would expect in an MLB venue and there is nothing that would be considered outrageously priced. Parking is about the norm with choices being $12 or $18 ($1 less if you purchase in advance).
With all the entertainment and the nice setting you get when taking in a game at Miller Park, the price is right.

Extras 4

The Brewers give away an excellent program as you enter the turnstiles. They are much better than some other MLB parks, and these are free. One extra point goes to the legendary sausage race. The concept seems silly, but the crowd loves it and entertaining the fans is what baseball is about.

I’ve been to many MLB parks, but it’s rare to find a ballpark that has this many monuments and displays dedicated to numerous groups and people. Baseball history buffs could take hours looking at everything. The monuments are well done and informative.
One final extra point goes to the game day staff. It may seem like a little thing but when ushers are willing to help carry food, take pictures, or point you in the right direction, it makes the experience that much more enjoyable.

Final Thoughts

From the tailgating, to the monuments, to the great food and staff, Miller Park produces a fun time for fans of all ages. Despite the recent downturn in on-field product in Milwaukee, it’s easy to see why fans continue to come out. If you haven’t been to Miller Park yet, plan a visit to Milwaukee and take in a game. The experience is well worth the trip.

 

 

Food and Drink Recommendations

Mader’s

1037 North Old World 3rd St

Milwaukee, WI 53203

(414) 271-3377

http://www.madersrestaurant.com/


Old German Beer Hall

1009 N Old World Third St

Milwaukee, WI 53203

(414) 226-2728

http://www.oldgermanbeerhall.com/


Saz’s State House Restaurant

5420 W State St

Milwaukee, WI 53226

(414) 256-8765

http://www.sazs.com/restaurant/


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Entertainment Recommendations

Pabst Mansion

2000 W Wisconsin Ave

Milwaukee, WI 53233

(414) 931-0808

http://pabstmansion.com


Miller Brewing Tours

4251 W State St

Milwaukee, WI 53208

(414) 931-2337

http://www.factorytour.com/tours/miller-brewing.cfm


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Lodging Recommendations

 

Hyatt Regency Milwaukee

333 W Kilbourn Ave

Milwaukee, WI 53203

(414) 276-1234

https://milwaukee.regency.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html


 

Ambassador Hotel

2308 W Wisconsin Ave.

Milwaukee, WI 53233

(888) 322-3326

http://www.ambassadormilwaukee.com


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Stadium Info

Miller Park
One Brewers Way
Milwaukee, WI 53214

Milwaukee Brewers website
Miller Park website

Year Opened: 2001
Capacity: 41,900

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