The Milwaukee Brewers will play in front of fans at American Family Field this season. That’s the good news. But the time-honored tradition of tailgating in the parking lots that surround the stadium won’t be allowed – for now.
The coronavirus pandemic forced the Brewers to play a compressed 60-game schedule last season instead of the traditional 162-game slate. This included just 30 games at the stadium then known as Miller Park. Health regulations aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 kept fans out of Miller Park for the entire season.
Cardboard cutouts replaced living, breathing humans in the stands at Miller Park and artificial crowd noise substituted for the real thing.
The Brewers announced Thursday that they will open American Family Field to fans after Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson approved a plan to begin the regular season at 25% percent total capacity at the 41,900-seat ballpark.
Opening Day at American Family Field is set for April 1 at 1:10 p.m. against the Minnesota Twins. The last home game with fans in attendance occurred on Sept. 22, 2019, a 4-3 Brewers win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the middle of a run of 11 wins in 12 games. “This is an exciting day for us, as well as our fans and partners who we know are eager to return to American Family Field,” said Rick Schlesinger, president of business operations for the Brewers. “Our players repeatedly say that Brewers fans bring phenomenal energy to the game and are the critical piece of the ballpark atmosphere.”
Schlesinger said the Brewers submitted a detailed plan to the city aimed at allowing fans to watch the Brewers in person. Approval of the plan also allows the Brewers to bring back much-needed jobs for members of its event staff and game-day workforce. “We will continue to communicate with the city officials and work toward increasing the capacity if the health metrics continue to improve,” Schlesinger said.
Approval of the Brewers’ plan comes after the Milwaukee Bucks welcomed fans back to Fiserv Forum last month under a plan that, for the moment, has capped capacity at about 10 percent in the arena, which amounts to about 1,800 spectators. Brewers season seat holders and suite holders will be contacted about their options for attending games in the next week.
Information on tickets to individual games will be announced at a later date. More information on fan accommodations and safety rules can be found at brewers.com/COVID.