When will tailgating be permitted at American Family Field? It’s the burning question that has been on the minds of most Milwaukee Brewers fans since the ballpark welcomed back crowds this season.
We finally have an answer.
Fans coming to American Family Field will be permitted to tailgate with those seated in their designated pods beginning with next week’s series against the Chicago Cubs (April 12-15).
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“Tailgating is a Wisconsin tradition. It is how we begin our day at the ballpark,” Brewers President of Business Operations Rick Schlesinger said. “We have been in regular contact with the City of Milwaukee Health Department and the opening series was operationally sound. With safety protocols and our fans’ diligence, we are now able to bring back tailgating for those within a seating pod.”
The return of tailgating was hinted earlier on Wednesday with a social media post featuring the Johnsonville Famous Racing Sausages.
We’ve got some big news coming soon… pic.twitter.com/cMNN6tCi4A
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) April 7, 2021
“We appreciate the fans’ patience as we take another step in our efforts to provide the best fan experience in sports,” Schlesinger said.
A main priority for the Brewers is trying to bring a sense of normalcy back to the game experience for fans, Schlesinger said in a session with reporters on Wednesday.
“Brewers games without tailgating felt like there was something awry in the universe,” he said. “Of all of the issues we’ve faced with our fans in terms of attending games and the protocols, this has been topic No. 1. We are excited to deliver on our promise to bring tailgating back.”
The Brewers goal this season is to eventually have American Family Field filled to capacity and allow tailgating with no restrictions, Schlesinger added.
“This is a step in the right direction,” he said.
Tailgating will be allowed at single vehicles for those with tickets in the same seating pod. Fans will be required to remain in the immediate vicinity of their vehicle. Parking gates will open three hours in advance of each game, except for 6:40 p.m. weekday games for which parking gates will open two and a half hours in advance. For more information, go to brewers.com/tailgating.
Schlesinger said the Brewers are finalizing a parking plan to allow fans to safely tailgate.
“We will know in the next day or so about parking,” he said. “Right now, we’ve been parking people side by side in the parking lot but if we need to park people in every other spot it’s really easy to do logistically with the reduced capacity.”
Schlesinger said he is confident fans will abide by the tailgating restrictions.
“As far as enforcement, it’s really not that hard,” he said. “We have parking attendants and security for all games, and I think our fans, by and large, are very respectful of the rules and protocols. Their behavior in the first home stand is reflective of the fact that they want to do the right thing. They understand that if they abide by the rules it helps convince everybody to relax those restrictions. We’ll just do friendly reminders that people need to stay within their groups.
The Brewers previously announced an updated seating plan to accommodate more two-person seating pods, for which the team said there has been strong demand.