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Brewers warn of need for American Family Field improvements

With American Family Field now over 20 years old, the Milwaukee Brewers are asking for ballpark improvements–but it’s not clear where the money will come from.

The timing isn’t the greatest: the five-county sales tax backing ballpark construction bonds ended two years ago, and there’s certainly little appetite to approach the state and ask for an extension. And with a ballpark 20 years old, there’s going to be some long-term repairs and upgrades needed, especially in very unglamorous areas like HVAC.

Right now we don’t know exactly what the Brewers want or need, past a warning by team ownership that the cost of improvements could exceed the ballpark’s $87 million reserve fund. A report expected this summer should provide further details on the improvements needed and desired–which are not always the same thing, of course–and once the parameters of the work are established, we’ll then be able to move forward on funding discussions.