A Brewers ballpark deal has cleared a key state Assembly vote. An amended version of the bill (AB 438) to fund American Family Field repairs passed the Assembly Committee on State Affairs Thursday. The measure now offers substantially better financial terms for Milwaukee city and county, and cuts a total of $54 million from the public contribution.
Representative Christine Sinicki (D-Milwaukee) praised the deal. “Thank you to all who worked on this. We’re going to keep the Brewers in Milwaukee for at least as long as I’m still alive, maybe even my granddaughter’s still alive. So as a Brewers fan I’m thrilled.”
The bill still has Milwaukee city and county, the state and the team paying for repairs. But the amendment cuts an administrative fee the state charges for local sales taxes. That will save local governments millions of dollars over the term of the stadium lease. The amendment also requires a study be completed within two years on the feasibility of developing land around AmFam Field, which has one of the largest parking lot footprints in professional sports.
“To get to where we are today, to where we can truly say it does not have a negative impact, it’s not going to offset one dollar in their levy, I think is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Representative Rob Brooks (R-Saukville) the bill’s principal author. “And it wouldn’t happen without cooperation from the governor’s office, from the county executive’s office, the mayor’s office, and while you may not like it even Speaker Vos’ office”
The measure, which has the support of Governor Tony Evers, is now ready for a vote in the full Assembly next week.