MILWAUKEE (AP) — Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio expressed optimism about the status of negotiations involving renovations to American Family Field and indicated Saturday he wants to make sure the team stays in Milwaukee.
The Brewers have called American Family Field home since 2001 and have a lease that expires in 2030. State Democrats and Republicans have been debating on stadium renovation funding plans for several months.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, proposed a plan in which the state would spend $290 million in repairs and the Brewers would extend their lease by 13 years, through 2043. Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said that plan wouldn't work and indicated he wanted to come up with a deal that included a longer commitment from the Brewers to remain in Milwaukee.
“I’m optimistic,” Attanasio said from American Family Field before the Brewers' 5-4 victory over the San Diego Padres on Saturday. “We just have to get the three constituencies — which would be the governor, the Assembly and the Senate — to come together.”
Attanasio believes they can eventually reach a consensus.
“We have very good chemistry with the politicians in terms of having a shared goal,” Attanasio said. “The goal is to keep the team here for another generation, whether that’s 2040, or now frankly they are talking about 2050, which (is) great by me.”
The Brewers’ lease calls for the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District to cover repairs. Evers and the team have said the district does not have enough money to pay for what is needed. Evers’ proposal suggested funding the repairs through a one-time cash payment from a projected $7 billion state budget surplus.
“We very much want to stay here,” Attanasio said. “That’s all I’ve considered at this point. We have to face the reality that while this ballpark, it’s beautiful, the infrastructure is 20-plus years old. Even the scoreboard, which is great, the parts get obsolete so fast. The simple fact is the district is going to run out of money in the next couple of years. We’re trying to address the future of the ballpark before it runs out of money, and not in a band-aid kind of way.”
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