The Milwaukee Brewers and Miami Marlins were supposed to be in Florida this weekend for their three game series. Due to the impact of hurricane Irma in Florida, Major League Baseball decided to have the games at Miller Park.
Some fans took issue with this. They felt it gave the Milwaukee Brewers a competitive advantage. Which it clearly does. However, according to writer Tom Haudricourt, the Crew were never asked about a neutral site. They were simply asked if they could host the games at Miller Park, and they said yes.
They then had to scramble to get employees to work the game. Nobody was supposed to be at Miller Park this weekend. And it was only on two day’s notice. To account for the shortage of staff, and to lessen the advantage, only the first two levels of the stadium were available for Friday’s game.
How did it look?
I personally went to the game on Friday, which was a very interesting environment to be in. Without any noise from the third or fourth levels, and very little audience in the outfield seats, there was a different feel. It was also odd to walk around the Miller Park and see all the palm trees, seashells, flamingos and other things of the Marlins Park nature.
These are all part of how the Brewers did a tremendous job of trying to make the Marlins feel at home. Another nice touch was how all Marlins players had walkup music just like they would normally at home, but not on the road.
The helpful side of the series
The most important part, however, is how they are raising a ton of money for hurricane Irma relief as this series goes on. In between innings there was a message on the jumbotron with a link to donate to relief efforts. And all other proceeds that the Brewers made in this series would either go to the Marlins or to relief efforts.
All the fans were very acknowledging and respectful of the Marlins situation. And they respected the fact that they were the home team. There were multiple standing ovations and support that normally wouldn’t be there. It was also the interactions of the Brewers and Marlins social media accounts, which was very cool to see.
As far as the crowd experience there were moments where you felt as if there were 40,000 fans in the stadium. That happened, in part to a 10-2 Milwaukee Brewer win.
Fans of the Crew certainly took advantage of the cheaper first and second level tickets, along with the cheaper concession prices.
The actual attendance was 19,369. Which is very good on two days notice. Obviously an attendance like that would be considered low in normal circumstances. But when they’re all in one general area, it made for an absolutely electric atmosphere.
The Milwaukee Brewers did a fantastic job of throwing this all together in such a short period of time. And the fans did a great job of coming out and supporting. Miller Park is one of the best fan experiences in all of baseball. To have going there support a good cause was awesome for me, and the rest of the surprisingly loud audience.