Miller Park is as aptly named a ballpark as there is in MLB. When the Milwaukee Brewers organization agreed that American Family Insurance would take over naming rights in 2021 of what was/is Miller Park, the emotional response was intense. The anger and frustration from the Brewers’ fan base comes from what will amount to a 20 year relationship with Miller Brewing Company who was once headquartered in Milwaukee and employed a number of its residents.
Over almost 20 years, there have been a lot of memories made in that ballpark. An entire generation of Brewer fans grew up going to MILLER PARK. As a result, the idea of Miller Park evokes fond memories with family and friends, good times, and the excitement and heartbreak that comes from cheering for a baseball team like your life depends on it. Anything that would seemingly threaten to change those feelings is apt to get some negative response.
Most of us logically understand that the renaming of a baseball stadium has nothing to do with taking away fond memories. Yet human beings often react viscerally to these kinds of changes. In the end, however, the Milwaukee Brewers are a business that generates revenues, pays operational costs, and hopes to make a profit. One of the ways the Brewers generate revenues is through the naming rights of their stadium.
Statement from MillerCoors: "American Family Insurance proactively pitched the Brewers an incredibly rich offer for the future naming rights to Miller Park, and we’re proud to welcome American Family to the family we’ve been part of for generations." There you have it.— Tom (@Haudricourt) January 22, 2019
As was reported in the Milwaukee Business Journal, American Family Insurance will pay the Milwaukee Brewers approximately $4 million per year over 15 years for the naming rights of the ballpark. The deal with Miller Brewing Company, which eventually became Miller Coors, was for $2 million per year over 20 years. American Family will also have naming rights on the Brewers’ Spring Training complex in Maryvale, Arizona. It is not clear if the naming of the Spring Training complex is part of the $4 million per year arrangement.
The Brewers show off their renovated spring training facility in Maryvale, Arizona and a new name for the complex, American Family Fields of Phoenix. https://t.co/qY0OBECz8e— JSOnline - Brewers (@js_brewers) February 14, 2019
While it might be difficult for fans to face the change of Miller Park, the leadership of the Milwaukee Brewers made a business decision. Any good steward of a business would choose a revenue source that doubles in value. The leadership of the Brewers generally make decisions that are best for the team, the organization, and the community. Per the terms of this naming agreement, it looks as if they’ve made another good choice.