Tenant: Milwaukee Brewers (NL)
Architect: HKS, Inc. (Dallas), NBBJ (L.A.), Eppstein Uhen Architects (Milwaukee).
Milwaukee Brewers tickets:
Location: Left field (E), Menominee River and South 44th Street, later US-41 Stadium Freeway; third base (N), Story Parkway and Interstate 94; first base (W), General Mitchell Boulevard; right field (S), West National Avenue and the National Soldiers Home.
Dimensions: Left field: 344 feet (2001); left field power alley: 370 feet (2001); center field: 400 feet (2001); right field power alley: 374 feet (2001); right field: 355 feet (2001), 345 feet (2006); backstop: 56 feet (2001).
Fences: Vary in height from 8 feet to 12 feet.
Miller Park is a traditional ballpark reflecting local architecture, but has a retractable dome roof to protect against the cool weather in Wisconsin during the spring and fall. The ballpark is located in what used to be the center field parking lot of Milwaukee County Stadium, the Brewers' former home field. The originally scheduled April 1999 opening was delayed because of financing problems which were eventually resolved. The delay meant that the 1999 All Star game was not played in Milwaukee as planned, although it was played there in 2002.
A plan was developed that would have allowed the Brewers to play in their new $250 million stadium by April 2000. Construction of the park began on October 22, 1996, followed by a ceremonial groundbreaking on November 9. Work appeared to be proceeding on schedule until a crane accident in July 1999 killed three construction workers and spread tons of debris on the site. Opening day was moved back to April 6, 2001. It is centrally located in the city of Milwaukee about 2 miles west of downtown.
The $50 million, 7-panel retractable roof opens and closes like a fan in about 10 minutes. Miller Park has 11,700 seats and 20 skyboxes on the main field level, another 12,650 seats on the loge level, 4,150 seats and 50 skyboxes on the suite level and 14,500 seats on the upper terrace level. Seating represents a split-bowl concept where seating levels hang over others slightly, bringing fans closer to the action on the field. Amenities include a brew pub, open air patios and walkways, a Hall of Fame and a children's area. The 1,200,000-square-foot park includes 25 miles of deep piles, 70,000 cubic yards of structural concrete, 4,600 pieces of pre-cast concrete, and 9,000 tons of steel. All of this is enough to build a 50-story building.
The 260-acre area immediately surrounding Miller Park was improved through the spending of $72 million in government funds:
This work included freeway relocation, new entrances and exits, roads and walkways, lighting, utilities and other development, some of which would have been included in regular public improvement budgets. There are nearly 13,000 parking spaces within walking distance of the ballpark. Areas around the park include numerous amenities and landscaping, including a monument to the County Stadium site.
Beginning in January 1996, the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball District began levying a .10 cent sales tax in the 5-county region to help finance its $160 million contribution toward building Miller Park. The Milwaukee Brewers $90 million contribution toward Miller Park includes $40 million from Miller Brewing Company naming rights, concessionaire buildout and the American League, $20 million from the Bradley Foundation and $1 million from the Helfaer Foundation, $15 million from the Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation, and $14 million from the Milwaukee Business Community. The Baseball District owns 64 percent of Miller Park and the Brewers own 36 percent.
Huber, Hunt & Nichols Inc. of Indianapolis was selected by the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District board for construction of Miller Park. The Huber, Hunt team included the Chicago office of the Clark Construction Co. and Hunzinger Construction of Milwaukee, the builder of the former Milwaukee County Stadium, which opened in 1953. Hunzinger also worked on Milwaukee's $170 million Wisconsin Center project, replacing the former downtown convention center with an expanded version. Huber, Hunt was construction manager for Jacobs Field, the Cleveland Indians' ballpark, and Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix. The Phoenix stadium, like the Brewers' stadium, has a convertible roof.
Miller Park Trivia:
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View outside Miller Park © 2001 by Paul Munsey.
Updated April 2007
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