How the Brewers Are Making Games More Affordable

A new 414 Menu, Sunday Fun-Day bundle and shorter game times are all part of the efforts to increase game-day attendance.

With the current season underway and the Milwaukee Brewers set for a crowd at or near capacity for the home opener at American Family Field on Monday, a sense of normalcy has returned to Major League Baseball for the first time since the 2019 season. 

Optimism is growing among Brewers’ officials and fans, especially after Milwaukee took two of three games from the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field to open the season on a high note. 

But the bounce-back from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and labor issues has been four long years in the making, and Brewers’ leadership is hoping fans will return to the ballpark in droves well beyond Opening Day and bring attendance figures back to the level that made the Brewers the envy of small-market teams. 

“We have seen some attendance challenges since COVID,” Brewers President of Business Operations Rick Schlesinger said.  

But with the new season offering a fresh start, talk of a hitting the 3 million-mark in attendance is again being discussed, although reaching that level this season is admittedly a mountain that’s likely too high to climb, club officials said. 


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After an off-season of revamping the team’s roster, the Brewers are hoping that they have the right mix of players on the field to generate fan interest while leading to a return to the playoffs. The team is also making a variety of other efforts outside the roster aimed at attracting fans to the ballpark. 

As part of that effort, the Brewers are offering discounted menu items this season. The aim, in part, is to make games at American Family Field more attractive for families, from a financial standpoint. 

The new 414 Menu offers fans concession items at steep discounts, with junior hotdogs, junior nachos, Cracker Jack and soda all priced at $4. Other popular items, including those geared toward children, such as popcorn, peanuts and custard, as well as draft beer and specialty cocktails for adults, have been reduced from 2022 prices. 

The 414 Menu will be available at 12 concession stands on the Field, Terrace and Loge levels. 

In addition, there’s the Sunday Fun-Day Bundle which, for a total of $59, gets fans four Terrace Level outfield seats, four hotdogs, four sodas and a parking pass. An upgrade to the Loge Level bleacher seats can be had for $10 more per person. 

The Brewers implemented the discounts because of an awareness that inflation and other factors have made it difficult for some fans to spend limited discretionary income to come to the ballpark, Schlesinger said. 

“We don’t want anybody to say that can’t go to a Brewers game because of price,” he said. “We’ll have some of the most affordable tickets in the industry for 2023 with a lot of special promotions.” 

A desire to see the team return to the playoffs and more affordable concession items topped the list of concerns raised by fans during off-season focus group, Schlesinger said. 

“I think our fans have enjoyed the fact that we have been in the post-season, but we haven’t gotten to the promised land,” Schlesinger said. “We haven’t gotten to the World Series, and we haven’t won the World Series. So, fans are asking what can be done to get back to the post-season and play meaningful baseball deep into October.” 

Concerns about concession prices were also top of mind, he added. 

“People said they like the concession offerings. They like the quality and the speed of the lines, but they thought some of the prices were too high,” Schlesinger said. “So, we made a conscious effort in the off-season to offer value deals and reduce concession prices on popular items, including beer and a lot of kids’ items. We don’t want to have anyone come to the ballpark and worry about how they are going to make it affordable.” 

Work continues Friday on the future J. Leinenkugel’s Barrel Yard space above left field in American Family Field. Photo by Rich Rovito

The sparkling new J. Leinenkugel’s Barrel Yard inside American Family Field is also expected to boost attendance. The brewery, bar and restaurant is set to open its doors on Monday for the home opener. 

Fans are also being drawn to the American Family Field on game days by the X-Golf layout, which opened last September and features seven cutting-edge, indoor golf simulator bays over two floors located in what had been the Stadium Club on the ballpark’s Club Level. Three of the bays offer expansive and stunning views of the playing field.

But ticket and concession discounts and other high-profile attractions likely won’t mean as much if the Brewers don’t perform on the field, Schlesinger acknowledged. He’s confident that the revamped roster and new rule changes will have the Brewers back in contention for a coveted playoff spot and deep post-season run, which in turn should lead to more fans in the stands. 

“We have a team that I frankly thing is poised to take advantage of rule changes in 2023,” he said. “No shifts, larger bases and a pitch clock are all going to feed into what we think is very exciting product on the field. Shorter games. More action. Younger players who are coming in who have speed and can play great defense.” 

He noted that the Brewers also return one of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball, led by 2021 Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes, while adding All-Star catcher William Contreras and slugging outfielder Jesse Winker. 

“At the end of the day, it all comes down to the team on the field and we’re very optimistic and very excited,” Schlesinger said. 

A Look at Past Attendance

During the 2019 season, the Milwaukee Brewers drew more than 2.9 million fans to their home stadium, known then as Miller Park, an astounding figure for Major League Baseball’s smallest market. 

The Brewers came within one game of playing in the World Series the previous season, stoking excitement among fans. After another playoff appearance in 2019, the franchise’s top brass had high expectations for the 2020 season and a hope of topping the 3 million-mark in attendance for the first time. 

Then, on the cusp of a new season, the pandemic took hold. The team played an abbreviated 60-game schedule that season and health and safety regulations meant that fans weren’t permitted to attend games.   

Although the full 162-game slate of games returned in 2021, the lingering pandemic meant continued capacity restrictions for part of the season, limiting the Brewer full-season attendance to just 1.8 million fans.  

Last year, a lockout implemented by Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred following the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the Major League Baseball Players briefly delayed the start of the season. Although the Brewers played a 162-game schedule, Milwaukee drew a little more than 2.4 million fans to American Family Field, far short of the record-setting mark of 2019. After a second-half slide, the Brewers failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2017.  

“In 2020 we had no fans [in the stands]. In 2021 we had a reduced capacity and 2022 we were coming off a work stoppage,” Schlesinger said. “This was the first normal off-season we’ve had since 2018.” 

The Brewers play on the field last season, especially in the latter half of the season after they traded away all-star closer Josh Hader and then struggled to string together victories, also likely kept some fans away from the ballpark. 

“We obviously didn’t finish the 2022 season like we wanted to,” Schlesinger said. “We had a disappointing second half and did not make the post-season.”



Rich Rovito is a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine.