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Relocation Idea Rises As Brewers’ Stadium Talks Stall

  • Protracted stadium negotiations create new levels of uncertainty
  • MLB market has routinely outperformed its size both on and off the field
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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Milwaukee’s nearly seven-decade run as an MLB market could end unless there’s a dramatic turnaround in ongoing stadium negotiations, according to a new report. 

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported the Brewers could begin exploration of a relocation by this fall if a deal isn’t reached to improve American Family Field as part of a lease extension.

For months, the Brewers have detailed $448 million worth of needed renovations, work that currently falls to the state’s Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has similarly pressed state officials to honor their obligations.

Prior rumors of the Brewers’ potential relocation have been dismissed as overblown brinkmanship, but efforts by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers to secure $290 million in funding for stadium improvements continue to run into political resistance

The Brewers’ lease runs through the end of 2030, but the team has been pressing for immediate facility improvements.

The Atlanta Braves played for 13 seasons in Milwaukee before relocating to Georgia in 1966, and the Brewers have been a Wisconsin fixture since 1970, regularly surpassing its market size in attendance and local TV ratings. 

Possible Landing Spot

Should relocation become a serious option, Nashville would likely be among the top candidates, as it is already home to the NFL’s Titans, NHL’s Predators, and MLS’ Nashville SC, as well as the Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate.

“We will keep working with both sides of the aisle to find a creative solution to ensure the stadium district can meet its obligations and sign a generational lease extension at American Family Field,” said Rick Schlesinger, Brewers president of business operations.

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