MILWAUKEE, WI – Dan Kapanke, a former member of the Wisconsin Senate Republican caucus and member of the Home Crew Coalition, penned a column for the Wisconsin State Journal on the importance of the Milwaukee Brewers to Wisconsin’s economy and taxpayers.
Read the full column here or find excerpts below:
Keeping the Brewers is well worth some state investment
Wisconsin State Journal
May 12, 2023
Wisconsin has a proud baseball tradition. Big names such as Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer pitched in the Northwoods League for the La Crosse Loggers. Appleton is home to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers of the High-A minor leagues.
Then there is the Milwaukee Brewers. From Hall of Famer Robin Yount to today’s star Christian Yelich, the Brewers have provided us with decades of entertainment and joy.
Since the state and the Milwaukee Brewers built the stadium now known as American Family Field, the team has generated $2.5 billion in economic impact statewide, according to the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce. That’s millions of dollars in tax revenue into the state’s coffers and thousands of jobs across Wisconsin.
Think about the widespread impact of the Brewers and American Family Field. The ballpark and the players send millions of tax dollars back to the state for their part of playing here, and the state uses that money to pay for things such as middle-class tax cuts, roads and schools. Without the Brewers, there would be a hole in our state budget.
Without the capital improvements to the ballpark, the future of baseball in Wisconsin is in jeopardy. We have to act now. Otherwise, taxpayers would be on the hook for a stadium that is primarily owned by a public entity — the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District — which has financial obligations it has to be able to meet to keep baseball here. This is not a Milwaukee problem, it is a Wisconsin problem that could negatively impact taxpayers in every corner of the state.
The Brewers are an essential part of Wisconsin’s culture. Their impact on Wisconsin’s economy cannot be ignored. Keeping Major League Baseball in Wisconsin is the best deal for protecting the summer memories families make at the ballpark and is the right move for protecting taxpayers who would be on the hook if there is a failure to act.