Ballpark Roadtrip: Miller Park
Miller Park features North America's only fan-shaped convertible roof, which can open and close in less than 10 minutes. Large panes of glass allow natural grass to grow. The original grass playing surface was installed on March 10, 2001. It consisted mostly of sod transplanted from the old County Stadium. (Photo: Gordon Donovan)
Miller Park is a ballpark located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is home to the Milwaukee Brewers and was completed in 2001 as a replacement for Milwaukee County Stadium.
The park is located just southwest of the intersection of I-94, US-41, and Miller Park Way (WIS-341). The title sponsor is the Miller Brewing Company. Miller's contract with the stadium was for $40 million, and runs until 2020.
Miller Park features North America's only fan-shaped convertible roof, which can open and close in less than 10 minutes. Large panes of glass allow natural grass to grow.
The stadium design followed the trend of retro-designed ballparks with current amenities that began in 1992 with Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland.
The original grass playing surface was installed on March 10, 2001, with County Stadium's surface infield dirt and home plate transplanted into the new stadium.
The stadium has a retractable roof, built in a unique fan-shaped style, with the roof panels opening and closing simultaneously in a sweeping manner from the first- and third-base sides toward center field.
The complex and massive roof was a significant factor in the $392 million cost of the stadium. It allows the seating area to be heated 30 degrees warmer than the outside temperature when closed, allowing games to be played in inclement weather and in more comfortable conditions than an open air stadium.
The idea of the stadium having a retractable roof had been considered right away in the initial design, as to help counter the unpredictable Wisconsin weather in the early spring and late autumn.
Ballpark: A - Great tour and baseball environment. Retractable was open on a beautiful night under the stars, the way baseball is supposed to be played.
Fans & Atmosphere: B - Baseball, beer and bratwurst, sausage races you can't go wrong. Fans arrived early to tailgate and make a day of it. Only bad one was a Cubs fan who was at the wrong game and city. One Brewers fan asked if I enjoyed the game and city, then apologized for the Cubs fan.
Food: A - Bratwurst, waffle fries with melted cheese, large lemonade for $14.25 dollars! Asked a local what they did for fun in Milwaukee? Eat and drink beer.
Mascot: B - Bernie the Brewer, not much action except a trip down the slide after a home run. I looked forward to the sausage race.
Staff: B - Team store and tour leader were very nice. Some security guards were a little unfriendly.
Team Tradition: A - Good; they recognize the Milwaukee Braves and birth of American League there. Small market teams can't compete with other teams in larger markets. This game they honored teams and players of the Negro Leagues.
Location: B - Five miles west of downtown Milwaukee, Wis. Need to take cabs from downtown, no trains, the bus system is from the 20th century. You need a car!
Photos taken May 28, 2009 using a Canon EOS 50D Digital SLR with a EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Standard Zoom Lens and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens.