Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Ballpark coalition adds 3 members
Group backs spending plan for Brewers’ home
A group formed to support efforts to spend more than $400 million in state funds on American Family Field’s long-term improvements has announced three new members.
The Home Crew Coalition has added Tony Bugher, president of Leinenkugel Brewing Co.; Earnell Lucas, vice president of security, Fiserv Inc., and former Milwaukee County Sheriff, and Ivan Gamboa, senior vice president at Tri City National Bank.
“Tony, Earnell, and Ivan bring important perspectives to the board and we are proud to have them join the crew,” said restaurant operator and Home Crew Coalition Chairman Omar Shaikh.
“The impact of Major League Baseball in Wisconsin is wide. It stretches across communities and sectors of our economy. I look forward to continuing to grow bipartisan support for a solution, and I am thrilled to have new voices joining our board who will be tireless advocates for baseball in Wisconsin,” he said.
The ballpark funding issue centers on the lease between its owner, the state-created Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball District, and the Milwaukee Brewers. The lease requires the stadium district to fund most major capital improvements.
A plan to spend $448 million over 20 years on American Family Field’s renovations continues to be negotiated among state legislators and Gov. Tony Evers’ administration.
Evers proposed a $290 million payment for American Family Field within his $103.8 billion budget proposal. It would be combined with the $70 million already set aside by the stadium district, along with interest earnings.
In return, the Brewers would extend the lease from the end of 2030 to the end of 2043. The Evers administration says the ball club over 20 years would generate an estimated $400 million in state income and sales taxes.
A report commissioned by the Brewers, and reviewed by a consultant hired by the Wisconsin Department of Administration, provides details on how that $448 million, which includes an inflation contingency, would be spent.
Both Republican and Democratic legislators say the any public money should include an extension of the Brewers lease beyond 2043. And Republican legislators say the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County should help fund the renovations − which local officials oppose.
In addition, Americans For Prosperity − Wisconsin opposes any ballpark funding − saying the Brewers millionaire owner Mark Attanasio should pay for the renovations.