Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Great Play: Miller Park Voted Best Ballpark


ESPN was having a Battle of the Ballparks, and in a bracket of field against field, Miller Park won its way into the Final Four. Then, as Wisconsinites usually do, we got on and voted it to the top.

Due to the votes of Milwaukee fans, Miller Park ended up the final winner.

Miller Park had bested Angel, Dodger and Pittsburgh stadiums on its way to the Final Four where it was pitted against the vaunted Camden Yards and the finals where it met AT&T Park. Jim Caple of ESPN, creator of the poll, seems to think Miller Park does not deserve it and is there because of Wisconsin's penchant for patriotic voting. Sure, we recently helped Donald Driver win Dancing With The Stars, we always win the Campbell's Click for Cans promotion, and we can always seem to get out the vote for all-star ballots and the like, but come on - give Miller Park some credit. It may not have the history of some of the famous ballparks like Camden, Fenway, Wrigley, and it's not in New York, but it still is a great stadium though let's be honest it is not the best. Still, here are some points on what makes Miller Park a good to great stadium.


Miller Park was built to give a nod to the past and its brick facade looks like it belongs alongside the historical buildings of Milwaukee, yet it has all the modern amenities like the moving roof.

It was also built well, and with a conscience. It was recently named a LEED certified 'green' building.

As far as amenities, we have of course traditional hot dogs and peanuts, but we also have bratwurst unmatched by any other park, not to mention ever-expanding food choices like Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese, and a Fry Bar that has all manner of Fair-like fried food on a stick. It even made it on  PETA's Top 10 vegetarian-friendly parks.

As the name suggests Miler Park has Miller beer, but it also has some and continues to add specialty or craft beer options including New Glarus, Capital, Leinenkugel’s, Lakefront, Sprecher and Milwaukee Brewing Company.

Then there is the Helfaer Field outside the stadium, considered one of the premier youth baseball and girls' softball facilities in the country.

Speaking of outside the stadium - who tailgates (and has the amenities provided for tailgating) like Milwaukee Brewers fans in the Miller Park parking lots?

But perhaps most importantly - we have Bernie Brewer and the Klement's Racing Sausages. We were the first to do it and everyone else now seems to copy us. If there was a reason for Miller Park to beat out PNC it is because they copied us with their Periogi race. You snooze, you lose.

In the end Milwaukee and all of Wisconsin showed we support our ballpark and team. After all, isn't fan support for your own stadium part of what makes it great? If a ballpark can inspire its users to vote it over any other park - doesn't that alone make it worth winning?

The final results and Jim Caple's final, jaded verdict are here.