MILWAUKEE (SPECTRUM NEWS) — While Brewers players prepare to start the 2020 Major League Baseball season, the organization concedes it won’t have its full team together until 2021.
More than 1,800 part-time gameday workers have lost their jobs during the pandemic, as all 30 teams start the truncated season without fans.
“We all have to make some hard decisions,” Brewers president Rick Schlesinger said. “If we can’t have fans this year, then we’ll pivot and talk about how we can get fans in 2021.”
Workers inside the ballpark are far from the only ones affected this season by the pandemic. Food suppliers, hotels, bars and restaurants are all losing without the full Miller Park experience.
A recent study concluded that over 20 years, Miller Park has generated $2.5 billion worth of tourism, spending, jobs and tax revenues for the state.
“It’s the money that wouldn’t be spent but for having Major League Baseball here in this market,” said Tim Sheehy, president of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.
The crack of the bat’s echo off 40,000 empty seats is another reminder of how differently Summer 2020 turned out compared to the grand plans in Wisconsin.
“This was Milwaukee’s summer of bright lights and big stage,” Sheehy said. “The Ryder Cup, the DNC, Summerfest, Northwestern Mutual’s convention, State Fair and, of course, a summer of baseball. That is a tremendous economic impact in terms of a hit to this community.”
The Brewers organization is certain to lose money in the 2020 season, but the players are focused on returning to the postseason for the third straight season. Schlesinger said the front office hopes the league can complete this shortened season and be prepared to return to business as usual next spring.
“We believe that long-term, the economic engine that is Miller Park will be revved up and revived,” he said.
The Brewers start the season Friday at 6:10 in Chicago. They will host the St. Louis Cardinals July 31 at 1:10 p.m. for the home opener.