Story by Adam McCalvy, MLB.com; Photo by MLB.com
PHOENIX — The Brewers rolled out reduced concessions prices on Tuesday as they began to preview new features coming to American Family Field in 2023.
The changes include a new ‘414 Menu’ named after Milwaukee’s area code. At 12 concession stands throughout each level of the ballpark, there will be $4 junior hot dogs, junior nachos, Cracker Jack and 16 oz. sodas. In addition, the Brewers are reducing prices on 15 other food and beverage items this season, including staples like beer, craft cocktails, popcorn, peanuts and frozen custard. Details of the new prices will be unveiled just before Opening Day.
“A big point of our research was concern from fans on concession prices. We got really good grades on quality but not as good grades on value,” said Brewers president of business operations Rick Schlesinger. “So what we did is reimagine our concession pricing strategy. I wanted some of our best-selling items to be offered at a reduced price.”
Here are more new features being highlighted by the club:
• New sound system and the return of fireworks: One of the major offseason projects at American Family Field was the installation of a new state-of-the-art audio system, marking the first time the sound system has been overhauled since the ballpark was built. Colored LED lights have also been added for more options to celebrate and entertain fans, and the Brewers are bringing back the fireworks that celebrate Brewers home runs and victories.
“We didn’t know that the fans would miss the fireworks as much as they did, and they told us, so we’re bringing it back,” Schlesinger said.
Of the sound system upgrade, Schlesinger said, “I was surprised, candidly. When you’re at every game, you kind of get numb to the audio. And then when you hear what it can be, it makes you realize how much better it is and how impactful it’s going to be.
“To use a metaphor, it’s like everybody was watching through glasses that were fogged up, and now you put on clear glasses and can see. It’s like the same thing for your ears; you’re going to be fully immersed in the experience.”
The overhaul includes new speakers, amps, wiring and back-of-the-house technology. It was funded by the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District’s segregated reserve fund and is an example of the sort of maintenance and upgrade covered under the stadium lease. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers last week proposed $290 million in the next state budget for similar projects over the next two decades as part of a plan that would require the Brewers to extend their lease at the ballpark through 2043.
• A working brewery in the ballpark: Once TGI Fridays, then The Restaurant To Be Named Later, J. Leinenkugel’s Barrel Yard is opening Monday, April 3 for the Brewers’ home opener against the Mets. The space, operated with the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, will have beer brewed on site as well as a full-service bar and restaurant overlooking left field at American Family Field. The restaurant will be open on game days and non-game days moving forward.
• Autograph Sundays: The Brewers are bringing back one of the most popular features from the past. From 11:50 a.m. CT to 12:15 p.m. CT every Sunday home game from April through August, children ages 14 and under are invited to the seats by the warning track to receive an autograph from six Brewers players, alumni and/or other Brewers personalities. Autographs are limited to one per child and full-sized bats are not allowed.
• Sunday Fun-Day Bundle: On sale now, the $59 package includes four Terrace Outfield tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas and one general parking pass. Up to eight additional tickets may be added to the package to accommodate larger groups and families.
• Kids run the bases: Every Sunday home game, the Famous Racing Sausages are joined on the warning track by their mini version in a kid’s sausage race. After the game, kids 14 and under are invited onto the field to run the bases.
• In-stadium entertainment: The Brewers are debuting a new spirit squad called the “4-1-Force,” which will lead in-game entertainment on the field and in the stands along with the existing “Brew Crew.”
• New team stores: The Brewers Clubhouse Shop has expanded its game-used and memorabilia offerings with a new shop located in the First Base Ward on the Field Level concourse. There’s also a new Brewers Team Store Hat Shop near the Third Base Ward, where fans can customize caps on game days.