We move ever closer to Opening Day for the Brewers here in Milwaukee, and so we continue to expound upon the reasons we love it so much.
Today’s reason: Miller Park.
There’s little doubt among baseball fans that Miller Park is a real gem of a stadium.
The 12,000 ton roof closes near silent in ten minutes, and is LEED certified energy efficient. And nobody really comes to see it anymore. (Photo from Bizjournals.com)
It’s almost odd to think that a stadium of such esteem would be found here in Milwaukee. It still boasts one of the biggest and most unique retractable roofs in all of America. It has the fourth-largest scoreboard in Major League Baseball. It is also one of the first and only LEED-certified stadiums in the country, setting the mark for energy efficiency among professional sports teams.
We can sit here all day and we tout the stadium’s achievements if we’d like, but let’s be honest – we all know that a stadium is much more than the beams and bricks and seats. The stadium is the sum of its parts. It’s about what’s inside that makes it special.
And what’s inside Miller Park is special indeed.
For one thing, fans across the country who have been lucky enough to witness a game there agree it’s one of the best places to see a ball game. Fans who spent time in old County Stadium would tell you that it’s unquestionably better views, amenities, and atmosphere than the predecessor was.
After more than a decade of playing host to the Milwaukee Brewers, it still feels special. Maybe its the addition of the two new banners – just below the space that Ryan Braun hit two crucial late-season home runs that helped put those banners there in the first place.
Maybe it’s those big open outfield panels – the ones that Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa blasted balls out of during the Home Run Derby – that let you just peek at the skyline on a clear day. Maybe it’s the beautiful open concourses that nod to the great past of the city and the team while also allowing you to see the game. Maybe it’s those ridiculously cheap Uecker Seats – and the fact that it shows this organization will never take itself too seriously.
Miller Park is a collection of memories – all stadiums are, really – of the great teams of the past, the great performances of the present, and the building of new fans and successes in the future. It’s large, yet intimate. It’s beautiful, but hardly garish. It’s innovative, yet understated.
Miller Park is Milwaukee in the same way that the Brewers are Milwaukee’s team. In order to really get it – in order to truly appreciate it – you have to be a part of it. You need to get to know it. And when this wonderful stadium opens its doors for Opening Day, a whole city and hopefully a whole lot of new fans will get to be part of it again.
And that’s why we love it.