- Lloyd Brown
American Family Field - Milwaukee Brewers
Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.86
American Family Field One Brewers Way Milwaukee, WI 53214
Year Opened: 2001
Brewers, Brats, and Baseball
The home of the Brewers opened in 2001 as Miller Field, then became American Family Field in time for the 2021 season. This was in conjunction with a marketing rights deal involving Madison, Wisconsin-based American Family Life Insurance Company. The stadium holds 42,200. The dimensions of the field are LF 342’, CF 400’, and RF 345’. The outfield wall is eight feet tall.
The Brewers team name is in recognition of Milwaukee’s long relationship with breweries including Miller, Old Milwaukee, Pabst, Schlitz, and Leinenkugel. The team’s two mascots, Bernie the Brewer and Barrelman, further salute this relationship. Instead of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch the Brewers play the “Beer Barrel Polka,” otherwise known as “Roll Out the Barrel”.
The Brewers are the second MLB franchise in the city’s history, as the Braves played in Milwaukee from 1953-1966 before moving to Atlanta. The Brewers were created by a relocation of the Seattle Pilots to the city in 1970. The Milwaukee Braves won the city’s only World Series Championship in 1957. You will see both the Braves and the Brewers honored in many ways in and around American Family Field.
Food & Beverage 4
Like most major league parks, American Family Field offers you standard stadium fare at some of its 38 permanent concession stands or 20 food carts. We like to focus on the food offerings that make it unique.
The first food item that caught our attention is brachos. This is basically a nacho with a brat’s twist added in… it is delicious. Johnsonville is not far from Milwaukee, so expect to see multiple sausages available at the ballpark, including the Ultimate Bratwurst, the Tipsy Polish Sausage, and the Chorizo Breakfast Sandwich. Wisconsin is also known as the Dairy State, so look for every cheese imaginable, including the Wisconsin on My Mind hot dog which includes sharp cheddar, fried cheese curds, with mild cheddar and ranch dressing. Along those same lines, you can get an extra thick milkshake, or concrete, at the AJ Bombers concession stand. The Local Brews stand carries a wide assortment of craft brews.
The newest addition to the food and beverage offerings is the opening of J. Leinenkugel’s Barrell Yard prior to the 2023 season. This is a working brewery inside the ballpark. It produces a specialty beer brewed only at the ballpark. The brewery includes both a full bar and a restaurant. It is open on gamedays, as well as non-game days.
Note: Outside food may be brought into American Family Field. It must be single-service sized and sealed. Sodas, water, and juice are allowed in a single-serve sealed plastic container. The coolers must be a single-compartment soft-sided container that will fit under your seat.
American Family Field creates a wonderful gameday atmosphere before you even enter the ballpark. The parking lots fill early with tailgaters more than three hours before the first pitch. They decorate their tailgates in the team’s blue and gold colors. Just before you enter the stadium at the Home Plate Gate there are statues honoring Bob Uecker, Robin Yount, Bud Selig, and Hank Aaron. The team’s Wall of Honor is located just outside of the Left Field Gate. It includes players from both the Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Braves including Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Rollie Fingers, Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Bud Selig, and Jackie Robinson. You will also see the six numbers that have been retired by the team. They include Bud Selig (1), Paul Molitor (4), Robin Yount (19), Rollie Fingers (34), Jackie Robinson (42), and Hank Aaron (44).
The stadium has a retro design in its exterior, which includes brick, steel, and glass. Its’ most obvious exterior feature is the retractable roof. This is an absolute necessity in the early spring months of the season, when there is still snow on the ground, or during a playoff run in the fall when the evening temperatures are somewhat nippy. Whenever possible the roof is retracted, and American Family Field becomes a conventional outdoor ballpark.
There are numerous levels of seating within American Family Field. They are a combination of seating for individuals and group seating areas. The 100 level of the stadium is field-level seating, and there are very few individual seats in this section, as most of these seats are corporate or season ticket holders. The 200 level is known as the Loge level and is served by its own concourse. The 300 level equates with the club level at most stadiums. There are more than 40 suites found in the 300 level, along with several clubs to serve fans in this premium area. The largest number of seats are at the 400, or Terrace level. This level still gives you a great view of the field and excellent access to Bernie The Brewer’s chalet.
We find that any level ticket along the first baseline is our favorite. This puts you behind the Brewers’ dugout, so you get a good look at the players as they go in and out between innings. The finish line for the Sausage race is also on the first base side of the field, providing you with a better view of the frequent photo finishes.
American Family Field is located just two miles west of Downtown Milwaukee. It is in an area with many neighborhood bars or taprooms lining the main thoroughfares along Bluemound Road and National Avenue. There are several chain restaurants along Brewers Way, but nothing unique.
Downtown Milwaukee offers a weekend’s worth of attractions for you to see and enjoy. These include the Miller Brewery, the Harley Davidson Museum, and the Bobblehead Hall of Fame. The Riverwalk offers a wide variety of restaurants and bars for you to check out.
Brewers fans are great baseball fans. They are very knowledgeable about the game and support the team through both bad times and good times. The Brewer fans have brought a popular football tradition over to baseball, as they love to tailgate before games. They arrive hours before the first pitch and are excellent grillers in the parking lots outside of the stadium. They are restricted to one parking spot and must shut down their tailgate by to within 30 minutes after the first pitch. They are very friendly and welcome visitors to share in their spreads and a beer or two.
The ballpark has created two great ways to celebrate a Brewers HR and get the fans up and out of their seats, First, assign in the outfield lights up with “ Get up, get up, get outta here, gone!” This is Bob Uecker’s way of announcing a four-bagger. Bernie Brewer also comes out of his chalet in left field and slides down a bright yellow slide and lands on a platform below, and he waves the Brewers flag. The fans love it.
The fans really get into the Famous Sausage Race in the middle of the 6th inning. Most fans in baseball rank the Sausage Race as one of the top two character races in the MLB, along with the Presidential Race at Nationals Park in Washington, DC. The Brewers version features a brat, a Polish kielbasa, an Italian sausage, a hot dog, and a chorizo in a very competitive race.
American Family Field is extremely easy to reach, as it has its own exit off I-94.
There are several alternative forms of transportation to get you to the game. City bus routes on the Gold Line (Wisconsin Avenue) and Route #18 (National Avenue) will drop you within a few blocks of American Family Field. Many of the bars and restaurants in the area also offer shuttles to the ballpark.
The parking lots outside American Family Field open three hours prior to the first pitch. The stadium gates open 90 minutes prior to the first pitch, giving you plenty of time to check out the team store or the concession stands before you head to your seats. There are five entry gates into the ballpark.
American Family Field does a terrific job of making the venue very accessible for persons with disabilities. Parking lots Brewers #2 and the American Family offer the closest ADA parking to the stadium. Guests simply purchase a general parking pass and just let the parking attendant know that they need accessible parking. Every gate at the stadium has an Express ADA entry lane. Once inside, there are elevators located near the left-field corner seats and the Clock Tower gate. Each seating area at American Family Field offers some accessible seating. There are wheelchair lifts in seven different areas of the stadium.
Return on Investment 4
Attending a Brewers game at American Family Field will not break your piggy bank. There are several ways to lessen the stress on your wallet.
The Brewers use Dynamic Ticket Pricing for their home games. This means the team will charge more for a game involving a division rival or a marquee game against the Yankees or the Red Sox. This leaves a large portion of the team’s schedule available at a very reasonable ticket price. This means seats at the Terrace level can go for as low as $10, Loge level seats can go for $15 and Field level seats go for $25. When the team has a Monday home game the Terrace level seats go for $6, an almost unheard-of price for an MLB game.
The concession prices charged at the ballpark are also quite reasonable. However, if you tailgated or took a shuttle from a bar or eating establishment you may not be hungry and can avoid this expense entirely.
Parking at American Family Field is $12 prepaid or $20 day of the event. Again, taking public transit or one of the shuttles offers an alternative and saves you this expense.
Former catcher, Brewers’ announcer, and media superstar Bob Uecker is honored both inside and outside American Family Field. He has a statue outside the stadium and a likeness of him sitting in the highest seat in the entire stadium. This is a play on his frequent comment on “watching the game from the front row” in the beer commercials. You can find Uecker atop section 422.
Another unique salute to check out at American Family Field is the Bud Selig Experience. The exhibit covers how he almost single-handedly brought major league baseball back to the city after it lost the Braves franchise. He served as the team’s owner until being named the Commissioner of Major League Baseball. He served admirably in this role, leading the sport through many challenging seasons. The exhibit is found in left field at the loge level.
An extra must go to the Brewers fans for bringing the tailgating tradition from football over to the sport of baseball.
The site of American Family Field’s predecessor, County Stadium, is adjacent to the present park. The field is now known as Helfaer Field and serves as a youth baseball diamond.
A great place to get a selfie at American Family Field is located on the Miller Lite Terrace. There is a seven-foot-tall Milwaukee Brewers logo constructed totally out of Miller Lite beer cans.
American Family Field is one of MLB’s most underrated stadiums. It offers a better-than-average food and beverage program, a very competitive team, and the premiere figure race in the big leagues. We raise our stein to the Brewers’ home and its great fans!