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Influential stakeholders form coalition to keep Brewers in Milwaukee

The Home Crew Coalition has one goal: to find a solution to keep Major League Baseball in Wisconsin for the next generation.
Wisconsin Budget American Family Field
Posted at 1:01 PM, Mar 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-08 14:01:57-05

MILWAUKEE — A group of influential community leaders and business owners from across the state are forming a coalition in an effort to keep the Milwaukee Brewers in Wisconsin.

The Home Crew Coalition, chaired by Milwaukee area restaurateur and developer Omar Shaikh, has one goal: to find a solution to keep Major League Baseball in Wisconsin for the next generation.

The coalition was formed after news that there was a serious need for resources to ensure American Family Field can continue to serve as the home of the Brewers.

According to a news release from the coalition, the group is comprised of leaders from all corners of the state. Each have their own diverse background.

The members of the coalition are:

● Omar Shaikh, restaurateur and developer (Home Crew Coalition chairperson);
● Andrew Disch, North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters;
● Mike Grebe, retired attorney, local philanthropist, and former chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin;
● Dan Kapanke, La Crosse Loggers Baseball Team owner and former state senator;
● Tracy Johnson, Commercial Association of REALTORS Wisconsin;
● Ashok Rai, Prevea Health;
● Peggy Smith, VISIT Milwaukee;
● Jim Villa, NAIOP Wisconsin; and
● Rob Zerjav, The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

One major factor that the coalition is using to persuade leaders to keep the MLB in Milwaukee is the fact that the Brewers' ballpark has generated an estimated $2.5 billion in statewide economic impact since it opened in 2001.

In that time, the ballpark has gone through two sponsorship changes. It began as Miller Park and has since been renamed American Family Field.

“The Milwaukee Brewers are a point of pride for Wisconsin and it's important that we do what is needed to ensure Major League Baseball is preserved in our state for the next generation,” Shaikh stated in a news release. “Generating thousands of jobs and billions in direct spending, it’s important that we recognize the massive economic impact the team and the ballpark have on our state. Through our collective efforts, the Home Crew Coalition aims to deliver that message statewide and ensure the Brewers can call American Family Field their home for years to come.”

The coalition is not the first effort in the state to keep the Brewers in Milwaukee. Last month, Gov. Tony Evers proposed a plan to invest $290 million into the stadium, pulling from the state's $7 billion surplus.

Gov. Evers said back in February that without the investment, the Brewers and Major League Baseball (MLB) could leave at the end of the 2030 season when the current lease with American Family Field expires.

The proposed investment would maintain, repair, and improve facilities at American Family Field so the baseball district can meet its lease obligations to the Brewers. That proposal drew some backlash from politicians across the state.

The Home Crew Coalition is now asking people to join their movement. Click here to join or learn more.