Over the past week, the Milwaukee Brewers received a potential plan to create an entertainment district near American Family Field. According to Brewers Operations President Rick Schlesinger, the plan they received is still very much in its early stages. The newly-introduced resolution called for a study of whether to build an entertainment district in some of the stadium parking lots south of Interstate 94 and east of the State Highway 175.
Is the Plan Realistic?
When asked how solid the details of the plan are, Schlesinger said “I wouldn’t say [they] are faulty, but probably require further development. Obviously, the parking lots here mean a lot to a lot of people. Obviously, our tailgaters like the lots,” he said. To elaborate, building the district would require the usage of some of the parking lots near the stadium, which obviously causes issues for fans who use that space for their small or large group tailgates.
When asked whether or not the Brewers would consider the plan, Schlesinger said all ideas should be on the table. “It behooves us to look at all the options. That includes real estate. That includes getting into other businesses that look at different ways to generate revenue that makes sense for us. We’re a professional sports team. So logically doing things that relate to the sports team makes sense. Doing things on our property? Could that make sense? Yeah, we’d have to do a development plan. We’d have to analyze the economics of it,” he said.
Why Build a District?
The idea of an entertainment district comes a few months before the Brewers are expected to release a team-funded study of major maintenance needed at American Family Field. It’s believed the price tag will exceed the $87 million reserve fund the stadium board has set aside for the 21-year-old stadium. Despite upcoming roadblocks in funding for maintenance, Schlesinger said he’s confident the Brewers, the district board, and local and state politicians can come up with a solution that’s fair to all parties involved, including taxpayers.
It’s believed that a new Brewers district could potentially bring in millions of dollars to help pay for maintenance and future costs of projects down the road. Milwaukee has already found major success with the creation of the Deer District for the Bucks. By considering this possible plan, the Brewers could find a way to ensure the Brewers stay in Milwaukee past 2030.
In addition, creating an entertainment district brings hundreds of jobs to the area. For reference, the Deer District is adding two concert venues over the next two years. The building of these venues will bring more than 500 construction jobs as well as several dozen full-time jobs. An estimated 600 part-time jobs will also be created. If the plan is built on and eventually approved, Brewers fans will be in for a real treat, especially as the team continues to make playoff runs.
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