On Wednesday, I stood outside of Miller Par…. I mean, American Family Field.
Yes, that’s right. American Family Field.
I watched as the first “Miller Park” sign came down and was replaced with an “American Family Field” sign.
And you know what, I didn’t hate it.
Look, I get it. We all have those fond memories at Miller Park. Myself included.
The first Milwaukee date my boyfriend (now husband) went on when we moved here was Miller Park.
We even got engaged there in 2016 during a sausage race, took engagement pictures in front of that same sign I saw being taken down on Wednesday, and now, we walk to multiple games every summer.
We can see the ballpark from our backyard and even hear fireworks after a Brewers homerun.
So, like many others, I was in that “I’ll always call it Miller Park” crowd.
But that changed for me on Wednesday.
American Family Insurance CEO Jack Salzwedel shared stories about attending games as a kid. He reflected on going to County Stadium at the young age of seven-years-old.
He spoke from the heart.
“This is the beginning for us of something very special,” he said.
And it’s true. This is an investment in Milwaukee’s future.
And for the record, the Brewers didn’t just pick any old company to take over naming rights.
“We understand that ballpark names mean something,” Rick Schlesinger, Brewers President of Business Operations, said Wednesday.
He emphasized that it was important to them that it remain a Wisconsin brand.
And that will pay off.
Don’t we want the Brewers to thrive for as many years as possible?
“The economic investment American Family is making not only to Milwaukee but to the Brewers is significant,” added Schlesinger.
And that means more chances at a Brewers postseason run.
I don’t know about you, but I would love to say “The 2021 World Series Champion Milwaukee Brewers.”
The fact is, we are still in the middle of a global pandemic. Some of our favorite local restaurants are shutting their doors, so many small businesses are struggling, and people remain out of work. Yet, American Family Insurance just made a 15-year commitment to our favorite local baseball team.
So when you walk into a Brewers game this summer (fingers crossed we can do so safely), don’t complain. Embrace the name. Be proud of the name. And remember that it’s an investment in the future of Milwaukee.
I personally can’t wait to attend a game at American Family Field.