Jump to content
Brewer Fanatic
  • Wisconsinites Should Tell Rob Manfred to Go Jump in a Lake


    The Oakland Athletics aren't quite across the finish line at which they can announce their rebirth as the Las Vegas Athletics, but apparently, Major League Baseball can smell that barn from here. Rob Manfred has hit the road for a spring tour of stadia, and he's in shakedown mode. The city of Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin should reject his intimidation and nonsense.

    Image courtesy of © MARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL / USA TODAY NETWORK

    Brewers Video

     

    Ballpark financing is a tricky business. For one thing, the slate is never blank. There are always relevant comparison points--other ballparks built and upgraded and repaired and renovated recently. There are nearly always preexisting agreements that narrow the spectrum of options when the subject of doing any of those things with a ballpark comes up. In this case, the comps are especially timely and cogent, and the preexisting agreements--ones that require a fairly high degree of upkeep by the specially-created Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District, for instance--loom especially large.

    That said, when Manfred swept into town this week talking about the urgency and import of the state allocating nearly half a billion dollars to the long-term improvement of Miller Park, it was pretty transparently toothless. Manfred, and the cartel he represents, has very little leverage over Wisconsin, other than in the sense that everyone has leverage over the hopelessly fractured and persistently chaotic state government apparatus in Madison. Whatever one thinks of the machinations Bud Selig performed to keep the Brewers from facing any threat of relocation or contraction during the darkest period of his miserable rule over the business side of the game, they created a platform for Milwaukee to prove itself as a long-term, viable, even vital market for MLB. The city, the state, and Attanasio have made good on that inheritance, and at this point, moving away from Milwaukee is unthinkable for the league. 

    Manfred is hoping you won't notice that. He's hoping you'll look at the radically stupid, self-defeating decisions made by municipal bodies in Texas and Georgia, who have recently replaced perfectly good stadia built less than 30 years ago with expensive new ones, at huge costs to the communities they should have served more honestly. He's hoping you'll look at Oakland, once a market as strong as Milwaukee has become. He's hoping you'll refuse to call a lousy bluff, because he won't have a better moment (right on the heels of this Oakland fiasco, and with expansion coming soon) to try one for years.

    Fans, governments, and even Attanasio (in some ways, a client and a patron of Manfred) should tell the league and its chief representative to go sit on a cactus in Nevada somewhere. The Brewers aren't going anywhere. Miller Park does not need hundreds of millions of dollars in immediate improvements, and the residents of the city and state do need that money to go more productive and valuable places.

    This is the one last tricky thing about ballpark financing: having a team is usually worth it. When they have a legitimate alternative to staying home and playing in their present park, it's sometimes acceptable to help fund a new park, because having a professional baseball team in town is good. It's good for business. It's good for families. It's good for civic pride. The poor can't eat civic pride, though. Governments have a responsibility to keep their priorities straight, and that means paying as little to big corporations like MLB teams as possible, as late as possible, rather than eagerly signing up to give them what they ask for, right on time. Now is an easy and exciting time for Wisconsin to tell Manfred that he needs to take a number and get in line. There's nothing wrong with the Brewers' home park, and any threats that they might depart from it are calculated deception. 

     

    Think you could write a story like this? Brewer Fanatic wants you to develop your voice, find an audience, and we'll pay you to do it. Just fill out this form.

    MORE FROM BREWER FANATIC
    — Latest Brewers coverage from our writers
    — Recent Brewers discussion in our forums
    — Follow Brewer Fanatic via Twitter, Facebook or email

    • Like 1
     Share


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Featured Comments

     I am atleast open to the notion that the brewers are  having Manfred be the bad guy to help get their repairs done

     

    Quote

    Miller Park does not need hundreds of millions of dollars in immediate improvements, and the residents of the city and state do need that money to go more productive and valuable places.

    have you been up to the roof? its said to be rusted, I haven't neither, but I am open to notion that the roof is in disrepair.

     

    The stadium does not like for john Q fan, but I think its possible that areas of the stadium that we don't see could need some repairs. 

    • Like 1
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    The relocation threat is beyond the pale.  Whatever the sober realities of keeping the ballpark in good repair, the threat fully disqualifies Manfred and MLB as any kind of good faith partners.  I fully agree with Matthew.  This is a shakedown.  Manfred is using the Oakland fiasco to extort money from governments.  Call his bluff, and live with the outcome.  I would much rather see the Brewers move to Charlotte or Sydney or wherever than negotiate with hostage-takers.

    • Like 2
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Any mention of the current agreements language on keeping the park up to date or that there are things that do or will need to be fixed in the near future. 🧑🏻‍🦯🧑🏻‍🦯🧑🏻‍🦯🧑🏻‍🦯

    Write a political article on a site that tells members to not talk about politics that is really just a rant that provides absolutely zero data on anything being talked about.

     

    • Like 6
    • Disagree 1
    • Love 2
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    This is totally different than the bucks situation. The NBA said build a stadium or the team will leave. The state has contractual requirements. Also there has been no threat by MLB or the brewers at this point. Manfred downplayed the notion that the brewers could leave yesterday even.  Could the numbers be inflated? Yes. Could some of the stuff that they are asking for not required at this very moment? Yes.

    It would help if we saw detailed list of what needs to be done. Maybe some photos of areas that need to be replaced. Until then, not much more to talk about. There are taxpayers and fans that would never want a penny of public money towards the stadium for any reason. Some that see the value of a MLB team in the state and want to invest in that. Also there are fans in the middle. Doesn't seem like many will change their point of view no matter. Its up to the brewers and our public officials to figure it out.

    • Like 1
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    damuelle
  • Brewer Fanatic Contributor
  • Posted

    You'd think that a guy from the Utica-Rome Metropolitan Statistical Area would have a better feel for how non-urban populations may react to a "threat from above". It's the sort of attempted pressure which simply does more harm than good. Does he actually want stadium improvements to be made? If yes, then it's too bad that he's likely set that effort back by bringing "outsiders" in to the discussion.

    patrickgpe said it: "It would help if we saw detailed list of what needs to be done." That's what the uncertain, undecided public was expecting after the news earlier this year on potential stadium improvements. Photos of rusted/broken things in need of repair. Drawings on planned improvements. Discussion on how competitive bids would be obtained to attempt to keep the cost down. Timelines for implementation.

    Instead, he's changed the entire complexion of the situation, likely causing some relatively open-minded citizens to instinctively dig in against "the Man".

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    29 minutes ago, patrickgpe said:

    It would help if we saw detailed list of what needs to be done. Maybe some photos of areas that need to be replaced. Until then, not much more to talk about. There are taxpayers and fans that would never want a penny of public money towards the stadium for any reason. Some that see the value of a MLB team in the state and want to invest in that. Also there are fans in the middle. Doesn't seem like many will change their point of view no matter. Its up to the brewers and our public officials to figure it out.

    I think this would be an acceptable ask.  We helped pay for the facility and if we are going to be asked to help maintain it, we should see some type of 10,000 foot view.

    When the first thing I saw was a new scoreboard, that told me the focus is on something completely different.  Foundational things such as fixing a rusty roof have to be top priority.

    • Like 1
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    owbc
  • Community Moderator
  • Posted

    2 hours ago, patrickgpe said:

     I am atleast open to the notion that the brewers are  having Manfred be the bad guy to help get their repairs done

    Yeah, unfortunately this was a pretty smart PR move.

    I also get MLB's concern about keeping ballparks up to date, although in many cases the owner of the club in question needs to look in the mirror.

    The more relevant comparison is probably not Oakland but Phoenix. Chase Field was not maintained as well as AmFam and it's a way messier situation to deal with after the stadium is already a few hundred million behind in maintenance. 

    The AmFam situation is mostly about proactive maintenance and getting ahead of that built into the next lease. And yeah, it's a shakedown of the taxpayers who are responsible for the bill, but if Wisconsin didn't want that then they shouldn't have gotten into the stadium ownership business. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/mlbs-rob-manfred-could-threaten-brewers-with-relocation-as-part-of-push-for-ballpark-updates-per-report/

    The Journal Sentinel report indicates that the renovations -- upgrades to seating areas, concourses and gathering spaces -- would cost an estimated $428 million over the course of the next 20 years.

    Does anyone believe the concourse, seating and gathering spaces are inadequate?

    • Like 2
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    47 minutes ago, damuelle said:

     

    Instead, he's changed the entire complexion of the situation, likely causing some relatively open-minded citizens to instinctively dig in against "the Man".

    I do undertand that fact that this has been going on for about a year with no progress. Again, I think its very possible the brewers asked the commish to act as the bad cop to light a fire under some people, which worked. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    1 minute ago, Frisbee Slider said:

    https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/mlbs-rob-manfred-could-threaten-brewers-with-relocation-as-part-of-push-for-ballpark-updates-per-report/

    The Journal Sentinel report indicates that the renovations -- upgrades to seating areas, concourses and gathering spaces -- would cost an estimated $428 million over the course of the next 20 years.

    Does anyone believe the concourse, seating and gathering spaces are inadequate?

    They aren't. I do not think the CBS sports article is correct. The reports I read is a rusting roof. https://www.fox6now.com/news/brewers-american-family-field-repairs-mlb-commissioner

    Quote

    The Brewers commissioned a study looking at stadium wants and needs – concrete cracks, rusted seats, corroding metal under the roof.

     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    If we are talking 20 years, sure, all the above and more need to be upgraded or replaced. No shocker. Putting 20 million into the ballpark upgrades per year for 20 years seem much more right than 400 million seemingly more up front in the next 7. Maybe I am misreading this, but when the urgent matter is doubling the size of the video board, I can’t believe the roof and infrastructure are in dire need of major work.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Firstly, I disagree with the notion that Trueblood's article was introducing a political topic. As I read through it, I kept looking for decided bents or otherwise opinionated theses, but in my humble opinion, they did a great job of steering clear of such obvious (and terrifying) hurdles to still address a very real, baseball topic. Kudos.

    In essence, all buildings and infrastructure within the state belong to the state. We are all but stewards to whatever property exists within legal boundaries. The only question is whether or not the state wishes to have Attanasio, and more correctly, MLB, as stewards of the AmFamClam?

    Attanasio and MLB really do have ultimate power here, as, at the end of the lease, they are able to go steward a stadium elsewhere.

    Sell the stadium to the Brewers? Why on earth would the Brewers want to own a property with nothing but diminishing returns, when they can just move elsewhere at the end of the lease? To a municipality that will fund the construction of a $1B facility?

    I am not advocating, morally, for the state to finance stadium repairs and upgrades, nor do I appreciate Manfred, Attanasio, and MLB to issue vague relocation threats to what has been nothing short of a fantastic, loyal fanbase. But to suggest that the state/municipality has some kind of bargaining stance here is, in my opinion, naive.

    MLB in MKE can move and play baseball elsewhere. The AmFamClam isn't going anywhere.

    • Like 1
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    7 hours ago, patrickgpe said:

    have you been up to the roof? its said to be rusted, I haven't neither, but I am open to notion that the roof is in disrepair.

    This is the one part of the renovations/upgrades that sound pretty legitimate.

    But of course we know MLB and the Brewers are going to ask for a lot of other things that assuredly aren't as legitimate.

    • Like 1
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    2 hours ago, rickh150 said:

    If we are talking 20 years, sure, all the above and more need to be upgraded or replaced. No shocker. Putting 20 million into the ballpark upgrades per year for 20 years seem much more right than 400 million seemingly more up front in the next 7. Maybe I am misreading this, but when the urgent matter is doubling the size of the video board, I can’t believe the roof and infrastructure are in dire need of major work.

    They actually have the funds remaining for the scoreboard, which needs to be replaced every 10 years like your TV. They don’t for the roof since the 5 county sales tax expired. Hence, why they’re asking the govt, which is the lessor, for the necessary funds. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I want the Brewers to play in well-maintained Wisconsin corn fields!

    We don't need more than a few hundred/thousand fans sitting in bleachers.

    The team's TV revenue will be greater with fewer fans at the ballpark and watching on TV ... Brewers need more TV revenue.

    Call them the Wisconsin Brewers ... in fact, have fields set up throughout the state ... Wisconsin fans will be tuning in to see their great state in different venues.

    Brewers benefit, taxpayers benefit, and we probably attract free agents more than ever before SINCE we are the Team who has Fields of Dreams!

    Please forward this to Governor Evers and Team Owner Attanasio.  They and some of you will laugh at first, BUT with further consideration and thought comes acceptance/excitement/brilliance!

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    57 minutes ago, treego14 said:

    I want the Brewers to play in well-maintained Wisconsin corn fields!

    We don't need more than a few hundred/thousand fans sitting in bleachers.

    The team's TV revenue will be greater with fewer fans at the ballpark and watching on TV ... Brewers need more TV revenue.

    Call them the Wisconsin Brewers ... in fact, have fields set up throughout the state ... Wisconsin fans will be tuning in to see their great state in different venues.

    Brewers benefit, taxpayers benefit, and we probably attract free agents more than ever before SINCE we are the Team who has Fields of Dreams!

    Please forward this to Governor Evers and Team Owner Attanasio.  They and some of you will laugh at first, BUT with further consideration and thought comes acceptance/excitement/brilliance!

    IMO that would necessitate selling the team to James Earl Jones, which would at least make for better in-game interviews.

    • Like 1
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Manfred burned his credibility with 1/2 of the politicians in the country when he moved the All-Star game out of Atlanta for political reasons.

    If anyone thinks his presence in Wisconsin will help get tax dollars allocated to the park, you'd best rethink that position. I guarantee he hurt the Brewers cause more than he helped it.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    It will get done…….can’t blame the Brewers for not wanting to wait till the last minute……..these things always get messy…….district has an obligation to pay for maintenance …….with all my wasted tax dollars on stuff I don’t care about I’m fine with having some of it go to keep the Brewers in town and playing in a park that is in good repair. 
     

    seems like the real debate is that city and county don’t want to pay anything and the state thinks they should kick in some…….seems reasonable to me.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites



    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...