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Wisconsin Republican Party Suggests Ticket Surcharge and Reduced State Funding for Milwaukee Brewers Stadium Repairs

The Wisconsin state Senate Republicans have suggested modifications to their plan for funding repairs to the Milwaukee Brewers stadium. These changes would reduce the state’s contribution by approximately $36 million and introduce a ticket surcharge for non-baseball events.

The finance committee of the Legislature is scheduled to vote on the proposed changes, and if approved, it could lead to a Senate floor vote in the following week.

The Milwaukee Brewers assert that American Family Field, their stadium, requires extensive repairs. They argue that the glass outfield doors, seats, and concourses should be replaced, and upgrades are necessary for luxury suites and the video scoreboard. Additionally, the retractable roof, fire suppression systems, parking lots, elevators, and escalators also need work.

The team has hinted that they might consider moving away from Milwaukee if they do not receive public funding for the repairs.

Previously, the state Assembly approved a plan in which the state would contribute $411 million, the city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County would provide a combined $135 million, and the Brewers would contribute $100 million towards the repairs. In return, the Brewers would extend their lease at the stadium until 2050, ensuring that the city remains a part of Major League Baseball for another 27 years.

Sen. Dan Feyen released an amendment to the Assembly plan that would reduce the state’s payout by $20 million and introduce a $2 ticket surcharge for non-baseball events, such as concerts or monster truck shows. Suite users would face an $8 ticket surcharge for non-baseball events. The projected revenue from these surcharges is $14.1 million, which would help offset the state’s contribution, resulting in an overall reduction of $36.1 million.

Moreover, the team’s rent payments would increase by $10 million between 2024 and 2050. The amendment also calls for a biennial financial audit of the stadium district responsible for administering public funding for American Family Field.

The amendment will be discussed further by Senate Republicans in a caucus, and its approval would send the bill back to the Assembly for final approval. Both chambers must pass an identical version of the legislation before it reaches Governor Tony Evers, who has the power to sign or veto it.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos expressed that a surcharge on non-Brewer events would be reasonable if it reduces the overall state contribution.

The governor’s office has not commented on whether they support the proposed changes.


Associated Press writer Scott Bauer in Madison contributed to this report.

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