Editor’s note: This is part of a continuing series reviewing Major League Baseball stadiums and desperate plea for its fans not to visit all of them. You really do have more important things to do with your life.
At the time of this writing, the Milwaukee Brewers are a damn good baseball team. Last year, they came within a game of advancing to the World Series and almost the entire roster is intact. Currently, they’re in a dogfight with the Cubs and Cardinals in what might be the toughest division in baseball. Heck, the Brewers and Cubs are just a two-hour drive from each other.
I write that because if it weren’t for those compelling reasons, nobody should seriously consider traveling to Milwaukee, Wisc., to watch Major League Baseball. Ever.
You surely wouldn’t go for the experience of seeing Miller Park, a cramped retractable-roof seashell-shaped warehouse with all the charm of a green wart.
I drove up there last year to see my beloved Dodgers play Milwaukee after the All-Star Break. What struck me the most about the building itself was that it replaced an open-air multipurpose stadium — which is a good idea — but for $400 million the Brewers didn’t consider their clientele.
Look, Brewers fans are really fat. That’s not meant as a cheap shot. The Wisconsin lifestyle is beer, brats and cheese. What do you expect? So why then, are all the concourses so damned small? Same for the seating, the concessions. If they are all average for MLB size, which they may as well be, you have to know your own fan base is more likely to shop at Cousin Tubby’s Husky Boy Overalls Emporium than H&M.
Regarding their fans? Mostly cool people. Wisconsin isn’t Brewers country so much as it Is Packers country. They want to treat going to a baseball game like going to Lambeau Field. The Brewers, to their credit, let fans tailgate. You can park for as little as 10 bucks and lob a football around while the neighbors are a cookin’ and a tappin’ the keg.
The exterior of the stadium includes a little league sized diamond for the kids to play on. Also, because parking is all on-site and relatively cheap, you are not bombarded by people selling you sleazy swap-meet merchandise.
But damn, the stadium feels so cramped.
And the interior? Wikipedia describes Miller Park as utilizing the retro feel of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Whoever wrote that needs to have all of his or her fingers broken for typing such a bald-faced lie. Miller Park is the direct opposite of going to Camden Yards. I’ve been to all domed stadiums in the majors. Most of the others try to mute the weird “locked in an airplane hangar” feeling. Not Miller Park. The shade of green used can best be described as “industrial bile.” This place is more like Chase Field in Phoenix, only the Diamondbacks at least recognize they’re in a suffocating desert and keep the place climate-controlled comfortable.
So why go?
You should go if you’re a Cubs fan. And believe me, the Cubs fans do make the trek.
You should go if this girl goes to the game. Behold! The one “in shape Brewers fan” I’ve ever seen. Yowza! To her credit, she is a fan. She keeps score behind home plate.
Other than that, you should pass on traveling to Miller Park as much as you should decline that last beer when you’re a block away from a DUI checkpoint.