American Family Field

American Family Field

Our guide to American Family Field in Milwaukee includes information on events, tickets, parking, public transportation, nearby hotels and restaurants, seating and more. Read on to find out how to get the most out of your gameday experience.

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As big cities go, Milwaukee has a quaint charm to it, from its neighborhoods full of brick houses with chain-link fences to its laid-back downtown district that lacks the hustle and bustle seen in most other downtowns.

So it would stand to reason that Milwaukee’s major-league ballpark would be a quaint, old-timey and cozy venue. But American Family Field, home of the Milwaukee Brewers, is far from that.

It is, in fact, a pretty audacious building considering its surroundings, with a fan-shaped retractable roof and huge glass windows throughout its facade.

Once you get inside, though, it really doesn’t matter if the ballpark seems out of place for the city it’s in. The Brewers have made it their own, and the fans come in droves regardless.

Though when the home team is thriving, it makes for a pretty spectacular atmosphere, which is what I experienced when I visited during a season in which the Brewers were in contention throughout.

American Family Field, as most baseball fans know, was known as Miller Park for the first 20 seasons of its existence before the name changed in January 2021. Though there’s no denying that a beer company was the perfect naming sponsor for the home stadium of a team called the Brewers, it’s not likely to stop American Family Field from rockin’ as usual when the home club is flourishing.

For more on visiting Milwaukee, check out our Milwaukee sports travel guide.

Getting to the ballpark

American Family Field might blend in more with its surroundings if it were situated downtown, but it lies a few miles west, past downtown and the busy district surrounding Marquette University. So, looking west from downtown, the ballpark dominates the landscape, sitting alongside Interstate 94.

Indeed, as you get closer you’ll see, depending on your route in, a few neighborhoods nearby, and you can’t help but wonder whether those people just walk to the ballpark or stay huddled inside, waiting for the pregame and postgame traffic streaming by to just die down.

The ballpark is surrounded by several large parking lots, many of which are named after past Brewers or Milwaukee baseball greats like Paul Molitor, Warren Spahn and Eddie Mathews. Parking rates begin at $15 for general parking — though you can save $3 by purchasing your parking pass in advance — and rise to $20 for weekend games, Opening Day and games against the Cubs, for which many visiting fans make the 80-mile trek north from Chicago.

Most fans just drive to American Family Field and park there, and many have a good reason for that, which we’ll reveal later. But if you don’t have a car — and if you’re visiting Milwaukee and staying in a downtown hotel, you probably don’t — there are a couple alternatives to getting to American Family Field.

The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) runs a dedicated bus line from downtown to the ballpark, known as the Brewers Line, that begins 90 minutes before each game and travels back for 60 minutes afterward; the standard bus fare of $2.25 per ride applies. This is the method I chose, picking up the bus at Wisconsin and 3rd streets and riding a fairly filled bus to the park, a ride of about 20 minutes with stops.

Or, you can find a restaurant or bar that offers a free shuttle to the game, and there are a few of them. They all drop off patrons just steps from the ballpark’s main entrance — not far from where the bus drop-off is — and, at least of the shuttles I observed, do a pretty brisk business. If you’re staying in a hotel outside downtown Milwaukee or otherwise coming to American Family Field from a suburban starting point, this is a method worth considering.

Milwaukee hotels near American Family Field

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Milwaukee West – 0.6 miles away
Best Western Plus Milwaukee West – 0.9 miles away
Village Inn – 1.2 miles away
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Map of the surrounding area

Things to do around the ballpark

As previously mentioned, American Family Field is not downtown, and thus there isn’t much around in the way of restaurants, bars or hotels. Your best bet for pregame entertainment, food or drink is to hang out downtown or, even better, at one of those restaurants/bars that provides a free shuttle so that you can party and then not have to worry about driving yourself to the ballpark afterward.

The die-hards get around the lack of surroundings the best way possible: tailgating. It’s not really something that’s associated with baseball, and there are only a handful of stadiums around the majors where you’ll see consistent tailgating before games.

But it’s a tradition in Milwaukee, too (does any state do tailgating better than the state of Wisconsin?), and for this Thursday night game I’d estimate there were maybe 2,000 people in the American Family Field parking lot tailgating an hour and a half before first pitch. I mean hanging out on lawn chairs, grilling brats, throwing baseballs around, the whole nine yards.

So if you know a local, or aren’t shy about sidling up to a party and introducing yourself, you can get your tailgate on before a Brewers game. Me, I was content with just taking in the scene from afar.

Milwaukee/West Allis restaurants near American Family Field

Story Hill BKC – American, 0.6 miles away
Mad Rooster Cafe – American, 0.9 miles away
Kegel’s Inn – German, 1.0 miles away
Search for more Milwaukee restaurants on Tripadvisor.

American Family Field first-base seating

Watching a game at American Family Field

American Family Field is a big ballpark, as evidenced by a pretty sizable structure and a large seating bowl. So there’s a lot to see, starting outside the home-plate gate.

There are several statues, from Milwaukee greats Robin Yount and Hank Aaron to legendary announcer Bob Uecker to a monument to three workers who were killed in an accident during the ballpark’s construction. There’s also a Little League field nearby called Helfaer Field, built on the footprint of the old County Stadium.

For my most recent visit, my seat was in Section 422, on the upper deck right behind home plate. Looking at the seating chart, those should be prime seats for the price, but what most American Family Field seating charts don’t tell you is that there are two very wide pillars in that area (Sections 421-423), and depending on your exact seat they could block views of semi-important things such as, oh, home plate or the mound.

Look up and you’ll see the pillars are very necessary, as they support the fan-shaped retractable roof right at its joint. Turned out I was parallel to the pillars so it wasn’t an issue for me, but it’s something to keep in mind as you plan your American Family Field visit, if you wish to find seating in the upper deck behind home plate.

The seats at the very top of these sections are known as the Uecker seats and if you sit there (the Brewers sell those seats for $1), you’ll be kept company by a statue of Uecker –though during the game I attended, it was guarded by a stern-looking usher who won’t let you take pictures while the play is in progress. 

It pays to be observant during a Brewers game, so stay in your seating area as much as you can lest you miss all the fun at American Family Field. First, there’s the famous sausage race — do NOT plan on leaving your seat once the top of the sixth inning starts lest you miss it — it starts and ends pretty quickly.

And whenever the Brewers hit a home run, look to left-center field to catch the team mascot, Bernie Brewer, sliding down his slide in left field, with the words “Get Up! Get Up! Get Outta Here! Gone!” — Uecker’s home run call — lighting up above as he does so.

By the way, if Bernie’s slide looks fun to you, you can pay to ride it a few times before any Brewers home game. It’s not cheap, and you have to be part of a group, but it makes for a great photo opportunity.

Food and drink at American Family Field

Food-wise, Wisconsin is known for sausages and beer, and you can find those in abundance at American Family Field. In Wisconsin it’s hard not to automatically think bratwurst, and those are available at pretty much every other stand in the park.

But you can also find hot dogs, Polish sausages, Italian sausages and chorizo (yes, the five sausages represented in the famous sausage race) at different spots around the park — no matter where you’re sitting, a stand is likely to be nearby.

And if you get a bratwurst or another sausage, the experience wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t add some “Secret Stadium Sauce,” which has been a staple of Brewers concessions since the County Stadium days. It looks like ketchup and tastes a little like barbecue sauce, but judge for yourself.

Look also for Wisconsin staples such as fried cheese curds and Leinenkugel beer (if your beer taste runs toward the less sophisticated, or less expensive, Miller is also available).

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    The Particulars

    Home Teams
    Milwaukee Brewers

    1 Brewers Way
    Milwaukee, WI 53214

    Year Opened


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