Slowly but surely the fans are coming back.
Minutes apart on Tuesday, the Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks announced they would extend their attendance limits to 50% of their venue capacity.
The increase will begin Saturday at American Family Field for the Brewers’ game against Atlanta and for the NBA playoffs for the Bucks at the Fiserv Forum.
Working in concert with guidelines from the Milwaukee Department of Health to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, the Brewers had previously reached 25% of capacity and the Bucks nearly 18%.
“They have been vigilant in observing and enforcing safety practices,” Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson said on Tuesday.
â€œI think the players certainly feed off the energy, and as the commissioner said, the Bucks and Brewers have been really good partners with us in setting health protocols and so it’s with that and with the trends we are seeing that have led the health department to come to the decision to increase capacity, â€said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
â€œWe know there are more people hungry and thirsty to get permission to attend these games,â€ he added.
The NBA playoffs begin on May 22.
“It is important to stress that health and safety remains our priority and that wearing masks and following other safety protocols remain mandatory,” said Bucks chairman Peter Feigin. â€œOur lives have certainly not returned to normal, but this is a step forward for the Bucks, the city and our fans. We thank the Bucks fans for their continued support throughout this unusual season and we are looking forward to welcoming more Bucks Nation to the Fiserv Forum again in a few weeks.
Tickets for a limited game for the Bucks playoff games will go on sale to the public at noon Friday the Bucks.com and in the Bucks mobile app.
Tickets will continue to be sold in capsules (tickets in groups of two or four), and fans will be required to wear face masks. Other protocols will be announced before the playoffs.
Bucks season ticket holders will be contacted by their representative with information on playoff tickets.
The new policy at American Family Field will begin with Game 2 of the Brewers’ series against the Atlanta Braves, with masks still needed.
â€œFans have returned with great enthusiasm to American Family Field this year, and today’s announcement allows us to meet the demand for tickets and improve the overall baseball stadium experience,â€ said said Rick Schlesinger, president of the business operations team. â€œWe have demonstrated to date that we can safely accommodate fans at American Family Field, and we appreciate the support of the City of Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson to increase the capacity.
Fans who hold season passes will receive an email this week detailing seating options. Single match tickets are already available for matches through May 27, and this Friday the club will announce more details on single match ticket availability and the promotional schedule for matches held between May 31 ( Memorial Day) and June 16.
Later in May, the Brewers expect to release information on single game tickets and the entire promotional schedule from June 25 until the end of the season.
â€œIt’s been a long time and a lot of our fans have been looking to come to the games and have been excluded from acquiring tickets,â€ said Schlesinger. â€œObviously doubling our capacity from Saturday is good news. We look forward to the day when we can return to 100% and return to full normalcy at American Family Field.
In other good news for Brewers fans, Schlesinger said tailgating would revert to a more traditional format, with people allowed to mingle car-to-car, as long as they didn’t exceed the outdoor gathering limit recommended by the city â€‹â€‹of 1000. Plus, the Famous Racing Sausages, who only played on the American Family Field video card, will come back to frolic on the warning track.
â€œThe tailgating will be as it is traditionally done,â€ said Schlesinger. â€œWisconsinites love tailgating and now they can have a more normal experience.
Tickets are available at Brewers.com, by phone at 1-800-933-7890 or at the American Family Field box office. All online and phone purchases will be delivered digitally through the MLB Ballpark app.
The Brewers will still designate two seating sections in the lodge level as “social distancing locations” where the seat pods will stay 6 feet apart.
As for the rush to sell more tickets on short notice, Schlesinger said: â€œIt’s certainly a welcome scramble. We normally have more than a few days to sell tickets for a weekend series. the majority of our tickets primarily we play games, that’s just the nature of our business.
â€œAs of April 1, we’ve (normally) sold the vast majority of our tickets for the entire season. With the restrictions and uncertainty as to how many fans we might have, we’ve been affected by how many tickets we have. I will be able to sell. So we are certainly behind by a large percentage; that said, I am delighted. There will be a good opportunity for the fans, starting on Saturday and Sunday. We hope the fans will turn out. will join us on short notice. “
Schlesinger said there is a lot of work to be done to reconfigure the base stadium for additional seating capacity. He said the goal is ultimately to reach 100% so that season seat holders can be returned to their original seats.
â€œI think we can do it safely and responsibly,â€ Schlesinger said. â€œWe still have the mask policy; our fans are responsible. I am very comfortable saying that we will meet our goal of 100% capacity. We have ongoing conversations with the Commissioner and her staff, and they have been very receptive. More and more ball parks are opening up. “
How to get tickets