MLB talk tough over Brewers home rejig


MLB pressures Brewers to renovate stadium Image: Miller Park, Grassferry49, CC BY-SA 3.0

The Major League Baseball (MLB) is already looking at the potential for one relocation in the near future as the ‘Oakland A’s’ look to secure their new home in Las Vegas (US).

‘YARDBARKER’ stated that the MLB could be willing to threaten another relocation if the Milwaukee Brewers home ground – the American Family Field in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (US) – is not upgraded.

New York (US)-based the Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization. One of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, the MLB comprises 30 teams, divided equally between the National League (NL) and the American League (AL) with 29 in the United States and 1 in Canada.

The Oakland Athletics are an American professional baseball team based in Oakland, California (US). The Athletics compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League West division. The team plays its home games at the 63,000-capacity Oakland Coliseum.

The ‘A’s new venue plans included creating a mixed-use development with up to 3,000 residential units, up to 1.5 million square feet of offices and up to 270,000 square feet of retail uses. The proposed development at the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal included plans for a $12 billion mixed-use project built around a $1 billion, 30,000-seat waterfront ballpark.

However, with a lot of feet-dragging on the Oakland plan, the team decided to move to Las Vegas. The team has a lease agreement to play at the aging Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum through 2024.

Latest reports reveal that the ‘A’s’ unveiled the first renderings for their proposed new ballpark in Las Vegas on May 26th. They have settled for the Tropicana site, which is located on the South end of the Las Vegas Strip.

The Milwaukee Brewers are an American professional baseball team based in Milwaukee, US. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League Central division. The Brewers are named for the City’s association with the brewing industry.

The 41,900-capacity American Family Field is a retractable roof stadium. It is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, just Southwest of the intersection of Interstate 94 and Brewers Boulevard. It is the ballpark of Major League Baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers, and opened in 2001 as a replacement for the Milwaukee County Stadium.

The MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred was in Milwaukee recently to put pressure on local officials to secure funding for repairs to the American Family Field.

‘YARDBARKER’ further stated that the Brewers’ lease at the ballpark expires after the 2030 season, but Manfred said it is still essential for funding to be approved in a timely manner. Manfred used the ‘A’s’ situation as a cautionary tale for what could happen if stadium issues continue to linger.

It is estimated that the American Family Field needs $448 million in work over the next 20 years, including $290 million in work that is to be included in the State’s budget between 2023 and 2025 if it can be approved.

The bulk of those repairs are to include “architecture and interiors” and would include repairs on the glass panels in the outfield, replacing seats, luxury suite upgrades, concourse replacements, and retail space.

The priority is for the Brewers to remain in Milwaukee, where they have played since 1970, but the Major League Baseball is making its point very clear: Fix the stadium, or we could move your team.

The current stadium opened in 2001, replacing the old Milwaukee County Stadium, so it is not really that old. However, 25-30 years tend to be the shelf life for stadiums and for teams (and leagues) to start rattling cages to either get major renovations done or new stadiums built with public money.

The MLB team Texas Rangers recently built a new stadium (the 40,300-capacity Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas) after 25 years at the 48,114-capacity Choctaw Stadium in Arlington, while the MLB team Atlanta Braves spent just 19 years at the 49,586-capacity Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia, before building a new stadium – the 41,084-capacity Truist Park in Georgia.

The days of stadiums lasting the way the 41,649-capacity Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois, and the 37,755-capacity Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, have are long gone. They do not seem to be returning anytime soon.

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