Visiting Miller Park – Five Tips For Newbies

Miller Park


Visiting Miller Park – Five Tips For Newbies

Posted by Kurt Smith

If you’re a newbie visiting Miller Park for the first time, here are a few tips…things I definitely wished I knew in my first couple of visits to the place. Like that there’s no baseball town like Milwaukee…and there may be no better fans in baseball.

visiting miller park uecker seats

They once had a Bob Uecker Day Off in his honor.

Visiting Miller Park, Tip #1: There are lots of really cheap seats. If you don’t mind missing the tailgating scene or the pre-game bars, you can get a Uecker seat on game day for just a buck; the seats are in Sections 421 and 422 and are obstructed by very large support beams, but if it’s too awful you can wander and find a good standing spot. You did get in for just a buck after all. But there’s also the Bernie’s Terrace seats that are at rock bottom prices too, partly because of the obstruction of Bernie’s slide and the distance from home plate. Again, you can still wander, and you can buy those seats in advance and take advantage of the pre-game scene without getting in a ticket line.

baseball seating miller park loge box

Elevated, yet in the shade.

Visiting Miller Park, Tip #2: Sit in the Loge Box for the best value. If you would prefer to nail down a decent seat, the Loge level at Miller is a great value. They’re right on top of the action, almost as if you were on the field level anyway, and equivalent seats at Yankee Stadium would probably go for quadruple the price. This is a popular spot for Brewers fans, and chances are you’ll be surrounded by some noisy ones.

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visiting miller park fat valdys

Is it the shuttle or the Mexican food that is the new concept?

Visiting Miller Park, Tip #3: Use a shuttle or tailgate. The tailgating at Miller is like no other in baseball…long lines form at the gates well before they open, and within minutes after opening grills and tents and tables of food are set up, music is playing and corn hole games take over the lot. The Brewers even encourage it with coal bins and occasional giveaways. But if you’re not necessarily into standing outside, there are a plethora of bars and restaurants that give patrons a lift to the ballpark, and many of them get crowded and feature a great pre-game scene. There’s a dance floor at Kelly’s Bleachers, a bowling alley at J&B’s Blue Ribbon, and billiards at Steve’s on Blue Mound. Whether you’re in the parking lot or at a nearby tavern, a Brewers game is an all-day celebration.

visiting miller park holey moley

Because you can’t make a little plate that says “Passionfruit Coconut”

Visiting Miller Park, Tip #4: Try AJ Bombers and Holey Moley. Not knocking the bratchos, the loaded baked potatoes or the other great food items at Miller, but AJ Bombers is it for burgers…fresh burgers with rotating toppings named for Brewers players or for visiting team cities. The concretes are fantastic at AJ Bombers…but if you want a truly amazing dessert at the game, check out Holey Moley donuts and their truly incredible sugar bombs of donut sandwiches. The Secret Stadium Sauce is popular at Miller, and you can’t go wrong with that on a Wisconsin brat, but check out these great Milwaukee institutions while you’re at Miller.

visiting miller park kids

Hey, no adults on the Bernie’s slide!

Visiting Miller Park, Tip #5: Bring the kids. Miller Park is not only very wallet friendly, there are lots of mascots and games for kids. There’s the Associated Bank Kids Zone where kids can participate in a Sausage Race and sit in a huge glove, and Bernie’s Clubhouse with padded play areas for smaller kids. Not to mention all of the mascots they can pose with and the Helfaer Field playground outside of the ballpark. And of course, there’s lots of sugar in the Miller Park menu.

There you go, five tips for newbies visiting Miller Park in Milwaukee; although, of course I would be remiss if I forgot to mention to be in your seat in the middle of the sixth for that crazy Sausage Race. The fans love it, and you can pose with the racing sausages in the parking lot. And when you really want to rock the house at Miller Park, get yourself one of these.

More About Miller Park:

Cheap Brewers Tickets – Low Budget Miller Seats

Miller Park Tailgating: Five Useful Tips

Three Foods To Try At Miller Park

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Cheap Brewers Tickets – Low Budget Miller Seats

Posted by Kurt Smith

If you’re looking for cheap Brewers tickets, you’re in luck…there are a lot of them. Miller Park has a good amount of even really good seats that are affordable, but here are two options you can get with just what’s in your pocket.

cheap brewers tickets uecker seat poles

These poles actually go all the way to the ground. Or so the tour guide said.

Cheap Brewers Tickets, Tip #1: The Uecker Seats. The Brewers offer their fans an opportunity to see a game for one dollar, in the humorously named “Uecker Seats”.

I’m dating myself with this, but I remember the Miller Lite commercial featuring “Mr. Baseball” Bob Uecker, in which he gets ousted out of his seat (to which his reaction is “I must be in the front rooooow!”) and placed in the worst seats in the ballpark, where he screams at the umpire.

It was funny, and the Brewers picked up on it when they opened Miller Park in 2001, declaring the highest seats behind home plate the “Uecker Seats”. These seats are blocked by pillars that hold up a portion of the ballpark’s massive roof, so sitting here closer to the aisles means a partially obstructed view.

But the seats are just four quarters. You can’t beat that.

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In order to get a Uecker Seat, you have to get in line and buy them at the box office, pay cash, and enter the ballpark directly after buying the ticket. If you have a group they need to be with you.

cheap brewers tickets uecker seats

For a buck, you can see two-thirds of the field.

But once you’re in, you can stand just about anywhere, and many people simply move to a better seat during the game. From what I’ve read, the enforcement is somewhat lax on poaching a better seat, especially on a night with low attendance. But if you’re not close to the aisles, the view from the Uecker Seats can be perfectly acceptable (better than in the above photo, obviously).

The only caveat with the Uecker seats I have is this: for a high demand game, and the Brewers have quite a few of them, you will need to get in line early. This means you might not be able to enjoy the tailgating, and the smell of the sausages cooking may get to you. I don’t know if the bargain price of the Uecker seats is worth the time it takes to wait for them some days, but judge for yourself.

Incidentally, the Brewers just added a statue of Uke sitting in the seats named for him. A great photo-op.

cheap brewers tickets bernies terrace

Great view of the slide though.

Cheap Brewers Tickets, Tip #2: Bernie’s Terrace. You should actually avoid Bernie’s Terrace, unless, of course, you just want to get into the ballpark cheaply.

The Bernie’s Terrace seats are so named for their proximity to the platform where Brewers mascot Bernie The Brewer sits. Bernie stands there during the game, waiting for a Brewer to knock one out of the park (or hit an inside-the-parker, as happened my last trip there).

When this happens, he slides down his slide onto the lower platform. It used to be into a vat of beer, but the Brewers became concerned about their image when moving into Miller Park (?) and cleaned it up a bit.

So sitting in the Bernie’s Terrace sections which are Sections 441 and 442, you’d think you’d get a good close up view of Bernie sliding. Depending on where you are, you might or might not. But your real concern will be that the affable mascot’s platform creates a ridiculously obstructed view.

Sitting in the upper rows of Section 442, you will lose almost half of the entire field to this. Not to mention that you will be about as far from home plate as seats get in Miller. Not a great way to watch a ballgame, so if you’re serious about seeing the game, you’ll want to avoid Bernie’s Terrace.

The nice thing is that next to the Uecker Seats, they are the cheapest tickets in the ballpark, cheaper than standing room even. And unlike the Ueckers, which also have an obstructed view, you can get the Bernie’s Terrace seats ahead of time from the Brewers’ website or box office.

Many people buy the Uecker Seats or the Bernie’s Terrace seats and just find a better place to sit. For lower attendance games, this is fairly easily done, so long as you don’t try to sit in a Field Level seat behind home plate. But you’ll have a much harder time doing this for a Cubs game or a weekend game.

You can save a lot of money buying Bernie’s Terrace seats, and if it’s a Tuesday night game against the Padres, you’ll probably be able to find a better place to sit. Just be aware that the Bernie’s Terrace area is not a great seat, even for the low price. For a weekend game against the Cubs or Cardinals, you’re better off just going to the next price level up.

That’s just two ticket deals at Miller Park; there are a whole lot of other ways to save a few bucks at a Brewers game. If you want to get the best value at Miller, get yourself one of these.

More About Miller Park:

Visiting Miller Park: Five Tips For Newbies

Miller Park Tailgating: Five Useful Tips

Three Foods To Try At Miller Park

 

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Do you love to visit ballparks and see live baseball? Subscribe to the Ballpark E-Guides e-mail newsletter today, and fill your scorecard with useful and entertaining info about your favorite ballparks, money-saving “tips of the week” for frugal fans, and of course, specials on the incredibly informative Ballpark E-Guides!

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Three Miller Park Shuttles

Posted by Kurt Smith

Milwaukee is really into baseball, and there are at least fifty establishments in town that will help you get to Miller Park…good for saving a few bucks on parking and an inexpensive meal before or after the game. Here’s a bit about a few of the popular Miller Park shuttles on Blue Mound Road:

Miller Park Shuttles J&B

I don’t know what they do on Thursday, but it’s not a fish fry.

Miller Park Shuttles, #1: J&B’s Blue Ribbon. In the past I mentioned Long Wong as a decent place to go for cheap eats and a free ride to Miller Park for a Brewers game…because they had popular Bloody Marys, Chinese food, and of course, a bowling alley.

Yes, a bowling alley. Fortunately J&B’s, the new owners of the establishment in the same spot, kept the bowling alley and much of the existing cafeteria feel of Long Wong’s. But I will say, it looks much nicer now.

J&B’s is known for bar food: burgers, wraps, “garbage fries”, and pizza. They have a fish fry that people like and the pizza gets pretty good reviews. All at what is still a pretty affordable price as bar food goes, and the location is convenient for additional bar hopping on Blue Mound Road. You should be able to find a free place to park, especially if you arrive early.

And of course, they’ve kept the bowling alley.

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Miller Park Shuttles kellys bleachers

It looks like a superhero vehicle, doesn’t it?

Miller Park Shuttles #2: Kelly’s Bleachers. I have to give a shoutout to Kelly’s because the owners of the place were very friendly to me during my visit and seemed to dig what I do. But I’m speaking objectively when I say that Kelly’s may be the most baseball-themed of all of the taverns that offer shuttles to Miller. They’re also located in a good spot, almost directly off of General Mitchell Boulevard.

If you weren’t actually going to the game, Kelly’s would be a fine place to enjoy it anyway. There are plenty of big TVs, and the walls feature a large amount of Brewers memorabilia including the shovel that first broke the ground for Miller Park.

The nicer thing about Kelly’s is that they have their own lot of about 40 spaces, and as far as I know they don’t charge their customers to park there. You can park on the street in front of the place with little trouble too, but at Kelly’s you can be fairly sure you’ll have a spot.

And the food is pretty good; if you’re ravenously hungry, you can get a 4-pound burger. Yes, you read that right.

Miller Park shuttles rounding third

What’s better than 60-cent wings? Taco Wednesday!

Miller Park Shuttles #3: Rounding Third. Rounding Third isn’t the fanciest place; they have a pretty nice jukebox but overall it’s more of a functional bar than anything else. But it’s definitely hooked up for Brewers games, with team memorabilia and drink and wing specials on game days.

Rounding Third has some unusual food items, including sloppy Joe nachos; I tried their jerk wings there and they were perfectly good and reasonable (and spicy). It’s not too far from the ballpark, parking is free in their small lot and on streets nearby, and it gets packed with Brew Crew fans before and after games. A good time is had by all.

Those are three bars that will help you get to Miller Park, but there are many, many more for each taste. You can find out about a bunch more of them with this handy little guide. You can park on Blue Mound Road and find a bunch, but they’re found elsewhere in the city too.

More About Miller Park:

Visiting Miller Park – Five Tips For Newbies

The Secret Stadium Sauce at Miller Park

Cheap Brewers Tickets – The Low Budget Miller Seats

 

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Do you love to visit ballparks and see live baseball? Subscribe to the Ballpark E-Guides e-mail newsletter today, and fill your scorecard with useful and entertaining info about your favorite ballparks, money-saving “tips of the week” for frugal fans, and of course, specials on the incredibly informative Ballpark E-Guides!

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Miller Park Food – Three Things To Try

Posted by Kurt Smith

If you somehow manage to pass through the Miller Park tailgating and still have room in your stomach, there is still an outstanding selection of Miller Park food too. Most anything you’d be interested in eating at the ballgame, and possibly a few things you’d never want to eat at a ballpark, is available here.

The bratwurst culture is huge in Wisconsin and Miller Park is no exception; you know sausages are popular in a ballpark where people in sausage costumes race in the sixth inning of every game. But other than as an ingredient in the “bratchos”, I’m going to suggest a few alternatives, because not even I can live by brats alone:

miller park food aj bombers

Made by the “Bomb Squad”.

Miller Park Food, Tip #1: The AJ Bombers Burger. Any burger joint that wants to differentiate themselves from McDonald’s is going to mention that their burgers are “fresh”, and AJ Bombers, the eatery with an outpost at Miller, is no exception.

But there is something to be said for that; an AJ Bomber’s burger is the right kind of juicy, with toppings ranging from bacon, cheese, Schlitz onions and peanut butter. (Yes, you read that right.)

You have to wait a bit for an AJ’s burger, and there’s no view of the ballgame from here, so get your fix taken care of before game time…and wash it down with a concrete.

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miller park food brat boys

The Brat Boys wear the most expensive clothes.

Miller Park Food, Tip #2: Bratchos. My apologies for not getting a picture of the bratchos. I couldn’t find a basket on display, and I couldn’t order one after the AJ Bombers burger and a plate of Rounding Third wings.

But the bratchos are not to be passed up on otherwise. It’s new at Miller as of 2015…and new as a food item that I’ve ever seen. Bratchos are kettle chips covered with four kinds of crumbled sausage (chorizo, Italian, Polish, and bratwurst, the staples at Brewers games), cheese sauce, sour cream, jalapenos, and sauerkraut.

It’s pretty much like a mishmash of a loaded brat with chips, but I’ve never seen them combined before. As professional eaters say when eating odd foods together, it all ends up in the same place anyway.

miller park food holey moley

It’s so good you’ll actually enjoy the sugar crash.

Miller Park Food, Tip #3: The Holey Moley Doughnut Sandwich. As if sausage nachos weren’t enough to surprise, Miller also has added a Holey Moley stand, for the local craft doughnut shop that peddles scratch doughnuts.

Holey Moley had four custard doughnut sandwich offerings in my visit…there was a “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” – custard, blueberry preserves and peanut butter drizzle; “Hella Nutella” – Nutella, bananas and hazelnuts; and the “P-Can Sam” – pecan pie pieces, caramel, and pecans; and finally the inimitable “Goober Jobber” – custard, pretzels, salted caramel and peanut butter.

By all accounts I’ve read, all are delicious. And these dessert sandwiches are actually pretty reasonably priced for a ballpark. Just make sure you have some room, it ain’t Jello.

Those are three unusual and tasty stuffs on the Miller Park food menu, but there’s a lot more, like the Nachos on a Stick, the Smoke Shack Ham Dinger, and the inimitable Zaffiro’s pizza. Be sure to plan ahead

More About Miller Park:

Visiting Miller Park – Five Tips For Newbies

Miller Park Tailgating: Five Useful Tips

The Secret Stadium Sauce at Miller Park

 

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The Secret Stadium Sauce At Miller Park

Posted by Kurt Smith

Sausages at Miller Park are available in four varieties for varying tastes. There is the Wisconsin brat, the Italian, the Polish, and the Mexican chorizo. The four flavors are very different, but according to most accounts, the one thing that makes them all taste better is the Secret Stadium Sauce.

Secret Stadium Sauce is a Milwaukee institution, carried over from the days at Milwaukee County Stadium. It is a blend of water, tomato paste, corn syrup, vinegar, a blend of spices and capsicum. It’s something like a barbecue sauce, but not quite.

 secret stadium sauce polish

It’s like a zingy BBQ sauce. But different.

The story of its creation is one of necessity being the mother of invention: close to 40 years ago, the team’s concessions were running out of ketchup and mustard, so a vendor named Rick Abramson put together a concoction of ketchup, mustard, smoked syrup and barbecue sauce, slapped it all together, and became president of Delaware North Companies Sportservice. Now there’s a company that recognizes genius when they see it.

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Indeed, baseball authorities Tony Kubek and Bob Costas would trade off broadcasting duties when announcing games in Milwaukee, so they could each enjoy their brats with Secret Stadium Sauce without enduring endlessly long seconds of delay between bites.

Like the Ballpark Mustard in Cleveland, the Secret Stadium Sauce is available in local grocery stores in Milwaukee, which means that there is no shortage of it in the world-class tailgating scene of Miller Park parking lots. You can order it on Amazon too.

Condiments – bringing people together.

Want to know more about the Miller Park menu…much, much more? Get on it with one of these!

More About Miller Park:

Visiting Miller Park – Five Tips For Newbies

Miller Park Food – Three Things To Try

Miller Park Tailgating: Five Useful Tips

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Do you love to visit ballparks and see live baseball? Subscribe to the Ballpark E-Guides e-mail newsletter today, and fill your scorecard with useful and entertaining info about your favorite ballparks, money-saving “tips of the week” for frugal fans, and of course, specials on the incredibly informative Ballpark E-Guides!

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Miller Park Tailgating: Five Useful Tips

Posted by Kurt Smith

There is no pre-game party in baseball like the Miller Park tailgating. It’s not even close. There’s a decent amount of grilling in the parking lot of Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, and things seem to be growing at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia a bit. But nowhere is the tailgating every bit a baseball institution as natural grass the way it is at a Brewers game.

miller park tailgating stosh in cart

The funny thing is that the guy in the sausage costume looks like the serious one.

If you’re headed to Milwaukee to see the Brewers, you should take part in it, because walking through the huge parking lots, the smell of coal and brats is going to make you ravenous.

So as a public service, I’m offering five important tips for tailgaters at Miller Park. If I miss an important one, by all means contact me and let me know, but these five should at least help you avoid a tailgating fail.

miller park tailgating bratwursts

I hope it’s enough…

Miller Park Tailgating, Tip #1: Boil Your Brats Beforehand. The Miller Park lots open three hours before game time, which is a good amount of time for tailgating, but not a lot if you’re cooking raw meat on the grill that took you a few minutes to fire up.

So get your Usinger’s or Klement’s brats beforehand, and boil them in beer and water the night before—a beer for every two brats, with maybe some onion and red pepper for extra taste. It takes a while—I’ve read an hour, but I’ve cooked sausages in 20 minutes, so decide for yourself.

Once you’ve boiled the brats to a gray color, all that will be needed is to brown them on the grill at the ballpark, which takes significantly less time in an environment where people will be finding bricks appetizing.

In fact, prepare everything you can the night before, like slicing cheese and putting food into containers or footballs in the car. Hey, I told you Brewers fans take this seriously. Being prepared for a Brewers tailgate takes some work.

miller park tailgating secret stadium sauce

NO, it’s not ketchup!

Miller Park Tailgating, Tip #2: Bring Secret Stadium Sauce. OK, not everyone loves the most popular condiment in Milwaukee. It’s not even necessarily for you. You can bring sauerkraut, Kopp’s deli mustard, even ketchup, but a nearby tailgater might have forgotten the Secret Stadium Sauce, or you may come across a first-time visitor to Miller Park who wants to know what the fuss is about with the Sauce.

Secret Stadium Sauce is usually available in most supermarkets in the Milwaukee area; it’s also available in the Team Shop, which opens when the parking lots do in case of an emergency. You can also order it on Amazon.

Don’t know what the Secret Stadium Sauce is? Click here.

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miller park tailgating tailgate town sign

It’s all about cheaper beer.

Miller Park Tailgating, Tip #3: Arrive EARLY. I’ve already said that Brewers fans take their tailgating seriously, and that the lots open three hours before game time. Add the two together and the sum is a long line of cars in line at most of the gates, especially for the cheaper lots. These are people itching to get their tent and grill set up and will arrive an hour before the lots open to be the first ones in.

Most people don’t pre-pay to get in to the lots, so attendants are making change for most of them. Bring a book to read if you must while you’re waiting, but try to get to Miller at least a half an hour before the lots open.

miller park tailgating leinies

Yes, it’s a Miller product…now.

Miller Park Tailgating, Tip #4: Drink Miller Products, But Don’t Imbibe Too Much After The First Hour. Many Brewers fans insist on Miller products vs. the Budweiser Empire that has helped fund 11 World Series titles for the division rival Cardinals. I at least would recommend taking a step up to Leinenkugel’s, a Chippewa Falls brewery that is now distributed by Miller. Needless to say, have plenty of ice.

But whatever your preference, make sure that you get the majority of beer consumption out of the way early. The parking lots at Miller have an ample amount of port-a-potties to accommodate tailgaters’ needs, but once that parking lot is filled with beer drinkers an hour before the game, lines will form.

And waiting in line for relief after four beers can make a minute seem like an hour. We’ve all been there. Don’t be at Level Ten with three other people just as full in front of you.

And this is just the preferred lot!

Miller Park Tailgating, Tip #5: Put A Window Flag On Your Car. This is a common tradition at Brewers games. Not only will it help you find your car (which, if you need help with, maybe you shouldn’t be driving), but you can also let people know that you’re a proud fan of the Timbler-Rattlers, Harley-Davidson, or Matt Kenseth. (I know that last one is obscure. Matt Kenseth is a NASCAR driver from Wisconsin. Yes, NASCAR’s still around.)

Needless to say, it should be unique…it’s okay to have a Brewers flag, of course, but that won’t necessarily make you stand out in the Miller Park parking lot.

Those are the five Miller Park tailgating tips that I consider most important, although obviously there’s other things to know…like that the Brewers will provide a taxicab ride home if you’ve had too much to drink, or that AAA of Wisconsin will give you a free tow if you can’t get your car started, or that you need to be careful leaving because people leave disposable grills everywhere.

Join the party in the parking lot; in Milwaukee, a ballgame is an all-day celebration.

And when you want to get the lowdown on all other things Miller Park, get yourself one of these.

More About Miller Park:

Visiting Miller Park: Five Tips For Newbies

Cheap Brewers Tickets – Low Budget Miller Seats

Three Foods To Try At Miller Park

 

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FREE eBook for traveling baseball fans! (That would be you.)

Do you love to visit ballparks and see live baseball? Subscribe to the Ballpark E-Guides e-mail newsletter today, and fill your scorecard with useful and entertaining info about your favorite ballparks, money-saving “tips of the week” for frugal fans, and of course, specials on the incredibly informative Ballpark E-Guides!

You’ll also score this eBook, listing some of Kurt’s favorite sites for traveling baseball fans, absolutely free of charge…just for stepping up to the plate and subscribing.

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Why The Best Baseball Fans May Be In Milwaukee

Posted by Kurt Smith

Ask 30 sports travelers which city has the best baseball fans and you may get 30 different answers.

Some might tell you Boston is full of fans who will be happy to pay a hefty price to see a winning team. Or that Philadelphia is full of fans who work the hardest to intimidate opponents and opposing fans. Or that the north side of Chicago has the most patient fans in the known universe.

But if you want to see some evidence of a truly certifiable and dedicated fan base, check out the Arctic Tailgate in Milwaukee, a yearly event that takes place the day Brewers tickets go on sale.

Yes, that means what you think it means. Fans set up tents on concrete outside of the Miller Park ticket windows. In February. In Wisconsin. To buy baseball tickets that can now be bought online in the comfort of their homes.

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best baseball fans day of game line

Baseball reminds us that one day it will be warm in Wisconsin again.

So there are probably 20 people in tents waiting in line, right? Read this from the Brewers website: The first 2,000 fans in line will receive a hot dog and small soda, compliments of Klement’s, Pepsi and Sportservice, as well as an Arctic Tailgate t-shirt.

A small soda.

In 2014, the Brewers sold 91,000 tickets on the day of the Arctic Tailgate. This on a day when the temperature was six degrees. In 2015, the Brewers decided that the weather was too cold for overnight camping, even for Brewers fans. And people still got in line and bought 101,000 tickets by 3:00 PM that day.

These people are surely aware that they can just shell out a few extra bucks on StubHub for Opening Day tickets. If nothing else, Brewers fans are a thrifty bunch. But to them, that isn’t the point. They just want to be the first each year to celebrate Brewers baseball.

best baseball fans long wong

I got a fever! And the only prescription is more baseball!

You don’t need to see people sitting on concrete in freezing cold to know what a dedicated fan base the Brewers have. You can witness it in any regular season game at Miller Park. After three hours of a tailgating scene unmatched in baseball, Brewers fans are as loud as any.

But if you want to pronounce Milwaukee fans to be the best in baseball, the Arctic Tailgate gives you a pretty strong argument.

More About Miller Park:

Cheap Brewers Tickets – Low Budget Miller Seats

Miller Park Tailgating: Five Useful Tips

Three Foods To Try At Miller Park

$190.28.

That’s how much it cost a family of four to see a Brewers game at Miller Park in 2016, according to the MLB Fan Cost Index.

Are you planning a trip to Milwaukee for a Brewers game? Do you want to slash that ridiculous total, AND find a great seat, parking spot, and a tasty sandwich at the game?

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Why Miller Park Should Be Called “Miller Field”

Posted by Kurt Smith

Miller Field? Does it seem weird?

I first visited Miller Park in its inaugural season in 2001. I didn’t question that it was an impressive structure, or that there was anything less than a pleasant experience at the place.

I did have some misgivings about it, though. The first was just how massive it is, and such an enormous venue didn’t seem suited for a smaller market like Milwaukee.

Miller field View From miller driveway

“Why do we park on a driveway and…”

Indoor baseball also doesn’t work as well, and even Brewers fans will often admit that Miller Park feels like an indoor facility even when the roof is open, as most retractable roof domes do. At the time I didn’t know that the windows in the outfield could be opened, and the windows more than many things give Miller an indoor feel.

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Since then I have researched Miller Park quite a bit for the Miller Park E-Guide, and have learned to quite love the place…baseball in Milwaukee and at Miller Park is unique and special for so many reasons.

I also don’t consider it a small thing that the Brewers may be the most value-friendly team in baseball…certainly so compared to the Cubs, who are inexplicably charging as much as $65 for seats without backs these days.

However, if it were up to me (and thankfully these things aren’t), I might propose that the name of the place be changed to “Miller Field”.

The ballpark boom began with Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Since then most teams have included “Park” or “Field” in their new venue names, the two exceptions being the cities who kept the name of the previous venues—Busch Stadium in St. Louis and Yankee Stadium in New York. (Incidentally, both teams won the World Series in the first season of their new ballparks. Not sure if that’s a sign.)

Miller Field vet panorama

Remember that turf stuff?

Both “park” and “field” sound nicer than “stadium” for baseball—the word “stadium” conjures up images of the multipurpose cookie-cutters of the 1970s: Veterans Stadium, Riverfront Stadium, Three Rivers Stadium, Fulton County Stadium.

When Janet Marie Smith offered her architectural consulting services to the Orioles before the building of Camden Yards, she told Orioles president Larry Lucchino: “They (meaning architectural firm HOK and the Maryland Stadium Authority) want a stadium, and you want a ballpark.” She was hired right then.

And during the design and construction, the Orioles—who were smart enough to include “design concurrence” in the contract with HOK—fined any employee who called it a “stadium” five dollars.

Since then new ballparks are almost all tagged with “park” or “field” in their names. But the two words are slightly different in connotation. “Park” is part of the word “ballpark” and as such it carries a connotation of an open air baseball venue with a small number of seats, like Oriole Park, PNC Park, AT&T Park or Fenway Park.

The word “Field” doesn’t have that similarity, which to me (and I’m guessing to the people who named these venues) makes it more appropriate for the ginormous retractable roof domes that have been built in locations with more extremes on the thermometer, like Safeco Field or Chase Field.

miller field tropciana field view

Welcome to the Tropicana Planetarium!

You could add Tropicana Field to that list—imagine that big white air-conditioned dome being called “Tropicana Park”. Or Rogers Centre in Toronto being Rogers Park. It just wouldn’t sound right.

Somehow the word “Field” seems more appropriate than “Park” for a baseball venue with a roof, whether the roof is optional or not. You could imagine a “field” protected by the elements, but it’s a bit harder to picture a “park” being surrounded with weather protection.

As such Miller Park just seems a bit inappropriate as a name. As does Marlins Park in Miami, although I expect some corporation at some point will offer the Marlins an obscene amount of money to put their name on the shingle, after which the name could well be changed to include “Field”. Tropicana Field was once called the Suncoast Dome; Cinergy Field, when it existed, was once Riverfront Stadium.

As I’ve said, I’ve read some reviews of Miller Park where people have somewhat bemoaned the indoor feel of the venue. OK, maybe I’m just talking out of another orifice, but somehow I think that might be a little less bothersome if the home of the Brewers was called Miller Field.

More About Miller Park:

Cheap Brewers Tickets – Low Budget Miller Seats

Miller Park Tailgating: Five Useful Tips

Three Foods To Try At Miller Park

The Secret Stadium Sauce at Miller Park

 

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