MLB Commissioner Expresses Confidence In Brewers Subsidy Agreement
Comments come as fight over funding American Family Field repairs and upgrades heats up.
Major League Baseball’s top executive said Thursday he’s confident a deal to fund improvements at American Family Field and keep the Milwaukee Brewers in the city will come through.
Even so, Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred said he believes a deal will occur.
“I remain confident that the Brewers are a great asset for the fans here in Milwaukee and that the governmental entities are going to find a way to fund the obligation that they agreed to when this ballpark was built, and they’re going to do it because it’s good business,” Manfred told reporters during a press conference at the stadium Thursday.
During a public forum last year, Rick Schlesinger, the team’s president of business operations, mentioned American Family Field’s trademark retractable roof as one of the features most in need of attention. Some are now worried the Brewers could leave Milwaukee after its lease with the stadium expires in 2030 if no public or state funding for improvements come through.
Manfred didn’t express the same concern Thursday.
The Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District is charged with overseeing and maintaining American Family Field.
“The real time issue is that a ballpark like this requires regular maintenance, and there needs to be regular money available to do that maintenance,” Manfred said. “You need to get this issue resolved so that the things that need to get done to keep this an A-plus facility are done in a timely manner.”
Evers in February proposed spending $290 million in state money on improvements at American Family Field, which opened in 2001. That proposal would have come in the form of a one-time payment using the state’s projected $7.1 billion budget surplus. As part of the deal, the Brewers would sign a new lease that would keep the team in Milwaukee until 2043.
But Vos, R-Rochester, has said he wants local money to be used in any such deal.
“Legislators are brainstorming ideas so they don’t relocate, and hope to have a plan in the near future,” a spokesperson for Vos said Thursday.
The city of Milwaukee is dealing with what local leaders have called a “budget crisis,” while Milwaukee County officials say they’re facing a looming fiscal cliff. Jeff Fleming, a spokesperson for Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, said Johnson wants to keep the Brewers in the city for the “long-long-term.”
The 1995 Brewers deal to construct Miller Park authorized government bonding, or borrowing, to pay for construction of the stadium. Borrowing for the project totaled more than $259 million, according to a 2019 memo from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. Taxpayers in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, Waukesha and Racine counties paid an extra 0.1 percent sales tax to retire that debt and the associated interest. Evers signed a law in 2019 requiring the local sales tax to expire in 2020.
Manfred called the ballpark an asset for the city. The Brewers have been in the top 10 in attendance in the National League for the last 15 seasons. The Home Crew Coalition, a group aimed ensuring the Brewers stay in Milwaukee, said the Brewers have created an estimated $2.5 billion in statewide economic impact since Miller Park opened in 2001.
MLB Commissioner says he’s confident a deal to keep Milwaukee Brewers in the city will come through was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.
More about the Miller Park Stadium Tax
- Murphy’s Law: Brewers Floundering on Stadium Deal - Bruce Murphy - May 29th, 2023
- MLB Commissioner Expresses Confidence In Brewers Subsidy Agreement - Evan Casey - May 26th, 2023
- County Board Adopts Resolution Opposing Use of County Tax Levy for American Family Field Renovations - Sup. Steve F. Taylor - May 25th, 2023
- Supervisor Taylor Authors Resolution Opposing Use of County Tax Levy for American Family Field Renovations - Sup. Steve F. Taylor - May 4th, 2023
- Pro-Ballpark Funding Coalition Launched - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 8th, 2023
- Eyes on Milwaukee: What’s Actually In Brewers’ Ballpark Plan? - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 28th, 2023
- Murphy’s Law: Brewers Subsidy Largest Ever Per Year? - Bruce Murphy - Feb 22nd, 2023
- The State of Politics: Evers’ Brewers Aid Plan Spooks Republicans - Steven Walters - Feb 20th, 2023
- County Executive David Crowley Praises Gov. Evers’ Plan to Keep Baseball in Milwaukee County - County Executive David Crowley - Feb 14th, 2023
- Gov. Evers Proposes $290 Million For American Family Field Upgrades - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 14th, 2023
Read more about Miller Park Stadium Tax here
One thought on “MLB Commissioner Expresses Confidence In Brewers Subsidy Agreement”
The average person in Milwaukee makes $66,000/year. That is from a range of $35,000 to $105,000.
Mangold makes $17,500,000/year. That is 265 times more than the average Milwaukee worker.
The average baseball player makes $5,000,000/year.
I don’t need a baseball team that plays 81 or so games a year. Bye bye!