Which of the 10 Never Seen Facts on American Family Field Milwaukee Will Impress You the Most? Those 10 Facts on American Family Field are…
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10 Never Seen Facts on American Family Field
American Family Field is one of the league’s beloved Midwest MLB ballparks every baseball fan has on their bucket list. In fact, the Brewers stadium opened in 2001 and hosted the All-Star Game in 2002. Any Milwaukee fan that bleeds Brewers gold will know every information possible, from the team playing in the 2018 Championship Series to Corbin Burnes winning the Cy Young Award in 2021. However, there are new American Family Field facts that many baseball supporters never knew or never heard of in their lives. For details on what facts baseball fans rarely knew about, please refer to 10 Never Before Seen Facts on American Family Field below!
10: Cleveland Indians were the “Home” Team for the Then-Miller Park
Over the last two decades, home teams were forced to play somewhere else due to uncontrollable circumstances. For instance, the Blue Jays played a “home” series at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia in 2010 because of a G20 Summit in Canada. In addition, the Orioles were the home team vs. Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Pete due to the 2015 protests in Baltimore. Also, the Rays play a home game vs. Yankees at Citi Field because of Hurricane Irma in Florida in 2017. But did you know that the Cleveland Indians were the “home” team at then-Miller Park in 2007?
Originally, the Cleveland/Angels series in April 2007 was meant to be played at the then-Jacobs Field. However, the series was moved to Wisconsin due to a major snow storm hitting northeast Ohio. Because of the change, the Brewers stadium had to follow the rules of the Indians being the home team. That meant a designated hitter was applied instead of the pitchers’ at-bat since Cleveland was an American League club. Also, the now-Guardians started each series in the top innings and not the bottom innings. Even Cleveland’s mascot, Slider, was spotted riding down Bernie’s Slide at left field for every Cleveland home run.
9: Brewers Stadium Previously had a CITGO® Gas Pump Home Run Counter
Some ballparks are notable for having a home run feature for fans to enjoy. At Oracle Park, the Giants have a “Splash Hits” sign installed at the McCovey Cove wall. Meanwhile, Citi Field in New York has a “Big Apple” in center field that pops up for every Mets home run. Previously, LoanDepot Park had a home run sculpture in the outfield that moves every time the Marlins hit a long-distance ball to the seats. But believe it or not, the now-American Family Field used to have a CITGO® Gas Pump home run counter in center field.
The rare feature was located between the center field video board and the Toyota® Tundra seats. Installed in 2007, the CITGO® Gas Pump keeps track of home runs hit by the Brew Crew during the course of the season. Under the CITGO® sign was an electric video screen that tells fans the home run progress for Milwaukee. However, the gas pump home run counter was taken down in 2010 to make way for a new area. The addition’s purpose was to control the elements for the stadium’s retractable roof.
8: 3 Construction Workers were Killed in a Crane Collapse at the Then-Miller Park
Accidents and injuries can happen to anyone everywhere, especially at ballparks. For example, a food concessions employee was killed at Citizens Bank Park in 2007 after falling into an elevator shaft. Another example is that two wooden panels from the top level fell on several fans at the then-SkyDome in 1995. In the mid-2000s, a scaffolding structure collapsed from the second deck during a renovations project at Fenway Park. But perhaps the most gruesome construction accident to occur at any MLB stadium took place at the formerly-named Miller Park. And sadly, that entire accident was caught on tape and seen by thousands and thousands of people.
During a roof installation session in July 1999, a towering blue crane collapsed onto the constructed Brewers stadium. The tragedy resulted in the deaths of three construction workers: Jerome Starr, William Degrave, and Jeffrey Wischer. The crane collapse was caused by three factors: (1) the wind was deemed too windy for roof installation, (2) a water main break occurred near the crane site, and (3) supervisors ignored warnings of weather dangers. Afterwards, the Brewers were forced to delay their final season at the Milwaukee County Stadium by one year. Also, the families of the deceased received financial compensation of nearly $100 million in damages.
7: A Brewers Game Forced an Ed Sheeran Show to be Rescheduled
Having a local team in the playoffs can be a great thing for not only the city, but also for the fans. Adding a couple extra home games for October can lead to an increase in the season’s profitability elements like food concessions and merchandise sales. In addition, a postseason appearance can allow a home team to face exposure from national media coverage. However, making the playoffs can create some disadvantages as well as sacrifices. Well, that was the case during the Brewers’ Championship Series in 2018.
In fall 2018, the Brew Crew had just made their first trip to the postseason since 2011. They had star players on the roster such as Ryan Braun, Lorenzo Cain, and Christian Yelich. But unfortunately, Milwaukee’s playoff push led an Ed Sheeran concert to be rescheduled as a result. Originally set for October 23, the British singer’s show was moved to a day later in order to give his camp more time to set up the main stage. Had the Brewers advanced to their first World Series since 1982, Sheeran’s concert would have probably been rescheduled to later in the year or canceled altogether.
6: Once a Year, American Family Field Lets Fans Camp Out in the Parking Lots
The Brewers stadium is the home of many unique experiences fans can encounter. American Family Field has a dining venue called Restaurant to be Named Later located at left field. The Milwaukee ballpark also allows fans to learn about Hank the Dog, a stray animal who was found at the team’s spring training facility in Arizona in 2014. American Family Field even has an outdoor Walk of Fame that honors many Brewers greats like Rollie Fingers and Robin Yount. But did you know that once a year, the Brewers ballpark lets fans camp out in the parking lots?
Every February, American Family Field hosts the wintery tailgate event called Arctic Tailgate. This one-of-a-kind occasion allows fans to set up tents in the parking lots and get first dibs on game tickets. Most of all, the Brewers faithful can spend overnight on stadium property and cook dinner on their approved grills. However, there are some limits to the Arctic Tailgate event. For one, ballpark officials would not let fans spend the night in the parking lots if the cold weather reached under ten degrees. The other thing is that grills would need to be socially distant as far as two dozen feet from another tent.
5: Brewers Ballpark Used to Host Bowling Tournaments on the Field
American Family Field has a reputation for hosting events that do not involve baseball games. For instance, the ballpark is the home for many live concerts either during or after the baseball season. Also, the stadium is one of the rare stadiums that host tailgating events like the Arctic Tailgate. But believe it or not, American Family Field used to have bowling tournaments on the baseball field. And the truth is, professional bowling only happened a couple times in the stadium’s history.
Starting in 2004, the then-Miller Park served as the main venue for the USBC Masters. The four-lane bowling alley was installed between second base and the right field foul line. In its inaugural event, over 4,000 fans attended the tournament with seats on the first base side. The last bowling event to take place was in 2007, and the annual event only lasted three years. The reasons behind the bowling tournament not returning to Brewers stadium were due to declining attendance along with the sports’ lack of popularity compared to baseball.
4: The Sausage Race Originally Started as a Cartoon for the Video Board
The Sausage Race is pretty much every Brewers fan’s favorite in-game entertainment at American Family Field. The event consists of five racers: Hot Dog, Italian, Polish, Brat, and Chorizo. In the middle of the sixth inning, the Sausage Racers started from the left field foul line all the way to the home plate area. Other than Bernie Brewer and Hank the Dog, the Sausage Racers can make anyone’s day with their comedic take on baseball. But did you know that the Sausage Racers originally started as a cartoon for the video board?
In the early 1990s, the iconic racers from Wisconsin debuted at the now-demolished Milwaukee County Stadium. They first showed up as animation versions on the venue’s main video board. At the time, the cartoon races were perhaps one of the top highlights for fans to watch at a Brewers game in-between innings. But a couple years later, in 1993, the Brewers executives decided to turn those runners into real-life forms of entertainment. Once the Sausage Racers were introduced on the field, they received acclaim from fans in attendance.
3: Kenny Chesney has Played a Record 4 Shows at American Family Field
Usually, it is normal for ballparks to host live music shows. In fact, there are teams that previously hosted large scale performances. Those teams were the following: Dodgers, Guardians, Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, Angels, Royals, Cardinals, and many more. Concerts can vary with either a post-game event or just a stand alone performance during the off-season. But believe it or not, country star Kenny Chesney has played a total of four shows at American Family Field. And that doesn’t count singing at National Anthems or having themed nights.
Chesney has played the following concerts at the Milwaukee stadium: 2013, 2016, 2018, and 2022. In addition, the country singer’s 2022 performance was a makeup event from the 2020/2021 shows that were impacted by the pandemic. Along with Kenny Chesney, other big-name artists have played at the ballpark like Ed Sheeran, Paul McCartney, and One Direction. High-capacity live concerts usually take place at football stadiums, but American Family Field is the only venue in Milwaukee that can meet those attendance demands.
2: Houston Astros Played a “Home” Series vs. Cubs at Then-Miller Park
As we mentioned before, American Family Field served as a home venue for the now-Cleveland Guardians due to a winter storm in Ohio. Normally, baseball teams would play in their home cities despite rain delays and thunderstorm threats. In addition, those baseball clubs would stay locally even though there’s snow on the field or if there’s heavy wind in the area. But sometimes, strong forces of nature would be too much for baseball teams to evacuate and play elsewhere. Well, that was the case for the Houston Astros in 2008.
During the final month of the 2008 regular season, the Astros were slated to play against the Chicago Cubs at Minute Maid Park. However, that series ended up at the then-Miller Park because of Hurricane Ike in Houston. Despite the unexpected circumstances, the Astros/Cubs series did witness a historic moment in MLB history. Cubs RHP Carlos Zambrano became the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter on a neutral site. That proved to be the first of the two no-no’s ever recorded at the Brewers stadium, as Cubs RHP Alec Mills achieved one in 2020 where fans weren’t allowed at games because of the pandemic.
1: For Select Days, Fans Can Actually Ride Down Bernie’s Slide at Left Field
American Family Field has a lot of eye-catching attractions for fans to see and do. One of them is the Selig Experience, a left field (Loge Level) museum dedicated to the former Brewers Owner and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig. Another one is the retractable roof unlike any other, where two roof doors move instead of an entire roof sliding back and forth similar to other stadiums. Perhaps the main attraction for fans to see is Bernie’s Slide at left field, where the mustached mascot slides down for every Brewers home run. Interestingly, fans can actually ride down Bernie’s Slide for select days only.
In a group of several people, fans can book an experience for the slide on game-days. How this event works is people would ride down the slide five times and could take photos of the feature. But here are a couple policies to follow for the Bernie’s Slide experience. The event is open one hour before the rest of the ballpark opens. Also to keep in mind is that the slide is only for fans eight and older. Though it is not guaranteed, Bernie the Brew may actually make an appearance during the slide experience.