As Miller Park is set to become American Family Field in 2021, there will be plenty of signage around Miller Park that will have to be changed before the 2021 season. However, one piece that the Brewers don’t have control over is the highway that runs along the east side of Miller Park. Though it is named after the stadium, any naming over the street belongs to the relevant cities. The Brewers have petitioned to have the street name changed in advance of the 2021 season. However, this will be more complicated than it would appear.
Miller Park Way is a street that runs along the east side of the stadium. It begins at I-94, with an interchange that connects to a small stretch of highway. After the Miller Park exit, the highway converts to a regular double-sided road, and the total length is approximately 1.2 miles. At Lincoln Ave., the name changes to 43rd St., which continues south in Milwaukee. While it seems like a short stretch, there is a complicating factor. Part of it runs in the City of Milwaukee (from I-94 to National Ave., the highway portion) and the other part is in the village of West Milwaukee (from National Ave. to Lincoln Ave., the standard road portion). 43rd St. is also within the boarders of the City of Milwaukee.
As a result, to change the full street name, both the City of Milwaukee and the Village of West Milwaukee will have to approve it. The City of Milwaukee has already approved the change for their portion of the street, with Brewers Boulevard becoming the new name. However, the Village of West Milwaukee has not. Bob Dohr of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the village board rejected the change on a 6-1 vote.
In the article, Dohr reports that only Village President John Stalewski supported the change. Stalewski also detailed some of the Brewers proposal, which includes paying 100% of costs for changing the signs, as well as business incentives for businesses along the street, and a “West Milwaukee day” for the community. However, two of the other board members named in the article felt that the Brewers changed their position, with one calling it a “bait and switch”, though Stalewski didn’t agree with that assessment. The report also detailed that the Brewers had proposed “Bob Uecker Way” and “Henry Aaron Way” originally, but those suggestions were also rejected.
The article also details that the ultimate decision for the street comes down to the village where the road is located. It has been discussed “at least seven times between August 2019 and January 2020” as well. The village also surveyed businesses along the road, and 17 of 25 that responded voted to not change the name.
There’s still time before the official name change of Miller Park happens after the 2020 season, so there could still be some resolution in the coming months. The Brewers could convince the village to make the change, or the village could reject it. They then could choose to keep that stretch named as Miller Park Way, or rename it to something else. It’s not an issue that the Brewers have any say on, and the village will determine what they want the name of the street to be.