Baseball, Midwest

Milwaukee: Miller Park

Alice Cooper: Well, I’m a regular visitor here, but Milwaukee has certainly had its share of visitors. The French missionaries and explorers began visiting here in the late 16th century.
Pete: Hey, isn’t “Milwaukee” an Indian name?
Alice Cooper: Yes, Pete, it is. In fact, it’s pronounced “mill-e-wah-que” which is Algonquin for “the good land.”

Miller Park marquee

In contrast to our swanky treatment at Kauffman Stadium (okay, so we had a parking pass and 100-level seats… not exactly a chauffeur and a luxury box), we determined to do our Milwaukee Brewers experience as cheaply as possible. The $5 seats on StubHub somehow ended up costing a total of $19.85… still, the lowest we had paid all season. But, they weren’t bad seats! Right behind home plate, in the nosebleed 400 level.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. We drove up to Milwaukee from Champaign the day of the game, with Dave’s lead foot getting us there in record time. (I won’t even say how quick it was, because I don’t want to incriminate anyone.) We stopped at our hotel and checked in, then made our way up to Miller Park.

Miller ParkYou can get a very good view of the stadium from the freeway, and boy is it an interesting piece of architecture. Think of an airplane hangar with a large steel ladybug-shaped roof, and you’ll get the idea.

It had been rainy-ish all day, and we fretted as we drove about what would happen if the game got rained out. About halfway there, Dave realized: the stadium has a roof on it! The game won’t get rained out!

This was the first indoor baseball game Dave had ever been to, and he found it very surreal. To be fair, the lighting at Miller Park has an unusual quality, when the sunlight filtered through closed windows meshes with the light coming from the stadium kliegs. The really great thing, though, was that it was probably 10-15 degrees warmer in there than it was outside. It was still drafty and not exactly warm, but much better than being outside in Milwaukee’s late September temps.

Bud Selig statue at Miller ParkI should mention that we walked around before the game and admired some of the amenities, such as the picnic shelters in the parking lot (for group tailgating), the brand new statue of Bud Selig (which even *he* found barely admirable), a very cute Little League park outside the stadium, and a fun, though creepily lit, kids’ play area inside (which appears to be free of charge – take that, Kauffman Stadium!).

The game itself was nothing memorable, especially since neither Dave nor I has strong feelings for the Milwaukee Brewers nor the visiting Florida Marlins. The Marlins ended up winning 4-0. We had a nice time. The stadium was pretty nice. The fans were nice. There were a couple of alcohol-free family sections, which I thought was a nice, family-friendly idea. I ate a yummy loaded baked potato.

Afterward, due to a typical lack of creativity and planning, we ended up at Rock Bottom in downtown Milwaukee for a couple of drinks and a little nosh. I recommend the new pub antipasto if you happen to go. *smile*

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