MILWAUKEE — Bipartisan support from the Wisconsin State Senate led to the approval of Assembly Bills 438 and 439 on funding for upkeep and improvements to American Family Field. Next, it’ll be sent back to the State Assembly for review and approval before it heads to Governor Evers’ desk to be signed into law.
The final tally for Assembly Bill 438 was 19-to-14 with Wisconsin Republicans split down the middle with an 11-11 vote on the bill. It’s widely expected that the Governor will not contest the bill and sign it into effect if approved by the Wisconsin State Assembly.
It’s unclear when the assembly will take up this matter, but Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is expected to speak later today, potentially providing some clarity on the timeline for the bills’ review.
Rick Schlesinger, President of Business Operations for the Milwaukee Brewers, offered the following comments applauding the Senate’s passage of this bill:
“This vote by a bipartisan majority of the State Senate is a historic moment, not only allowing the Stadium District to meet its obligations to maintain the ballpark but paving the way for the Brewers to remain in Wisconsin for the next generation. We appreciate the leadership in the legislature and among local officials, and beginning with that of Governor Evers, as we worked with all stakeholders to help build support for a creative solution that would protect taxpayers.
“Baseball is a game enjoyed by working families all across the state, and we are grateful to be near a final agreement to keep Major League Baseball in Milwaukee for all to enjoy. The MMAC study demonstrated that American Family Field has contributed north of $2.5 billion in statewide economic impact since opening its doors in 2001, and by extending the ballpark’s useful life, we are working to preserve an important economic driver for the future.
“The Brewers will continue to collaborate with all stakeholders in the days and weeks ahead, as policymakers work on the final steps to put legislation on the desk of Governor Evers. As the Brewers landlord, the Stadium District needs resources to honor its current lease agreement with its tenant. Today’s bipartisan vote creates a path to provide those resources.”
Under the Milwaukee Brewers’ lease agreement with the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District, the District is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of American Family Field including roof repairs, general maintenance and more. The Brewers have pledged $150 million to those projects as part of this agreement while tax dollars account for most of the remaining cost.
This is a developing news story. An update and/or follow-up will be issued as further details are revealed.
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