The Milwaukee Brewers are unveiling some changes that fans can expect when they enter American Family Field for the first time in 18 months.
“Our fan base is probably overly anxious to get back into American Family Field and enjoy Brewers baseball once again. We want to make sure, and I know our fans want to be comfortable,” Brewers Senior Vice President of Stadium Operations Steve Ethier said Thursday at the ballpark. “And they want to know and be confident that they are going to be safe. We are doing everything possible to ensure that they have not just a safe experience but that they are able to enjoy what they are principally here to do and that is watch Brewers baseball.”
The most significant changes include a move to entirely cashless transactions and mobile concessions ordering that will be available through the MLB Ballpark app.
Here’s a rundown of the guidelines and changes that the Brewers have developed in collaboration with Major League Baseball and the city of Milwaukee.
- No cash payments will be accepted in the ballpark. Should fans have cash, there will be kiosks around the ballpark where they can exchange cash for a prepaid card – if not fully used at American Family Field, these cards can be used outside the ballpark where credit cards are accepted. There are no fees for this service.
- Mobile concession ordering through MLB Ballpark App is being encouraged for safety and convenience.
- Mobile concession ordering is also available via texting the word “food” to 41835 or via QR code.
- All ticketing will be digital and accessed through the MLB Ballpark App with an option for pre-paid parking pass.
- To expedite entrance and minimize touch points between security and fans, no bags will be permitted in the ballpark other than purses or wristlets, ADA/medical bags and manufactured diaper bags.
- All fans, ages two and older, must always wear a facial covering over their nose and mouth – except while actively eating and drinking in their designated seating pods.
- Fans must socially distance at all times and are encouraged to remain in their seating pods with the exception of visiting concessions, the restroom or the team store.
- Tailgating will not be permitted.
- Fans feeling ill, who have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 or are awaiting test results will not be permitted to enter the stadium.
The shift to cashless transactions is being made to enhance safety and speed up the ordering and payment process, Brewers Senior Vice President of Brand Experience Teddy Werner said. Credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay will be accepted.
Three kiosks have been set up around the ballpark where fans can exchange cash for a prepaid card.
Curt Wambach, a long-time bartender at Local Brews inside American Family Field, said on Thursday that he’s excitedly awaiting being back at work after last season’s shutdown of all concessions as a result of fans not being able to attend games.
“I’ve built some of the greatest relationships with the fans over the years and it really means a lot to me to get back to the ballpark, not only for Brewers baseball but to see the fans,” Wambach said.
The Brewers will open American Family Field to fans on April 1 for an Opening Day matchup with the Minnesota Twins for the first time since the final home game of the season at what was then Miller Park in September 2019. The Brewers played a shortened season last year, but fans weren’t allowed into the ballpark.
Capacity to start the season has been set at 25% percent at the 41,900-seat stadium. This comes as the Texas Rangers are set to play their home opener at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, with fans allowed to fill the stadium to 100 capacity.
“I believe that the (Milwaukee health) officials have been very thorough and detailed, and they are relying on science and they’re doing what is safe,” Ethier said. “What occurs in other states, that’s for them to decide what it right. For here, I think 25% for right now is reasonable. Hopefully, that evolves.”
At this point, the Brewers haven’t considered having certain sections of the stands assigned to those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“There is at least one franchise in the NBA that is exploring that opportunity,” Ethier said. “We certainly encourage everyone to get vaccinated. That is a big part of what is going to get us over the hump. But as far as dedicating sections, that is not something that is currently under consideration.”
The Brewers also announced that to start the season, American Family Field’s restaurant (name to come) will be open only to ticketed fans and not allow walk-up guests.