The Milwaukee Brewers are going to start the season with fans in the stands, but only 25% of capacity. Making matters worse, there will be no tailgating being allowed.
By comparison, the Baltimore Orioles may start the season at 50%, although they don’t have a plan yet.
More than any other team in Major League Baseball, the Milwaukee Brewers organization is dependent on attendance. More than the Milwaukee Bucks and the Green Bay Packers, the Brewers team is dependent on attendance.
11,000 to 12,000 fans is not enough for our hometown baseball team. Those are numbers that would have shut down the upper deck at old County Stadium in April. We got rid of County Stadium to encourage large crowds to return to watching baseball, and we saved the Brewers franchise in the process. Now we’re asking the Brewers to survive with an attendance level that made the team once consider leaving Wisconsin.
With the attendance cap, the Brewers may as well be playing at Helfaer Field. Will the Brewers really be able to offer all of the amneities that American Family Field was built to offer with the reduced attendance? And if they can’t, how long will it take to bring the fans back once the attendance capacity is expanded?
The Brewers are already going to suffer financially with the attendance cap in place for the April 5-7 series against the Chicago Cubs, traditionally sellouts. So will the local bars and restaurants, already struggling under the city of Milwaukee’s Covid-19 restrictions. With a limit on attendance, how many of the local businesses feel the financial hit?
But even more ridiculous is the current ban on tailgating. The whole reason the current stadium was built next to the old stadium was to keep the tradition of tailgating alive. Who is running the Milwaukee health department, the Wisconsin Tavern League?
There is no reason the outside dining and partying with close friends can’t be done with responsible social distancing. If we’re going to allow outdoor dining on the streets of Milwaukee, surely we can allow tailgating in a huge parking lot that will have a reduced number of fans.
Besides, what will Milwaukee do? Have secret health officials patrolling the parking lot handing out tickets if you have a potato chip?
These are the types of ridiculous restrictions that cause ordinary people, not just the anti-mask zealots, to question why any restrictions are still in place.
As more Wisconsinites are getting vaccinated and the spread of Covid-19 continues to slow, it’s time for government to become more relaxed with the Covid-19 restrictions. We can start with America’s pastime, baseball.