Say goodbye to Miller Park, hello to American Family Field
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Say goodbye to Miller Park, hello to American Family Field

Miller Park

Fans enjoy tailgating outside Miller Park before an Opening Day baseball game between the Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants on April 4, 2016. Beginning next year, the stadium will be known as American Family Field.

MILWAUKEE — It’s official: American Family Field will be the home of the Milwaukee Brewers beginning next year.

The long-speculated name was confirmed Tuesday night, nearly a year to the day that the Brewers and Madison-based American Family Insurance announced a 15-year naming rights partnership for the stadium, which has been known as Miller Park since it opened for the 2001 season.

“The name is short, simple and sweet with its alliteration of ‘Family’ and ‘Field’,” American Family chairman and CEO Jack Salzwedel said in a news release. “The words ‘American Family’ capture our brand and reflect the family-oriented atmosphere that our research showed fans clearly value in the ballpark.”

Financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

A logo and other branding elements will be announced later this year, according to the release, and the stadium will continue to be named Miller Park through the end of the year with the American Family Field name taking over on Jan. 1, 2021.

The agreement is the latest — and largest — effort by American Family to expand its brand in the sports and entertainment realms. The company has been the presenting sponsor of the PGA Senior Tour’s American Family Championship since its inception in 2017 and has partnered with a number of well-known athletes, including former University of Wisconsin standout J.J. Watt for its “Dream Ambassadors” commercial campaign. Last year, the company took over naming rights of the newly renovated amphitheater at Milwaukee’s Summerfest, and as part of its deal with the Brewers, became the presenting sponsor of the team’s recently renovated spring training facility in Arizona. It is now known as American Family Fields of Phoenix.

American Family is also the jersey sponsor of Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United FC.

Miller Brewing Co., now known as MillerCoors and formerly headquartered in Milwaukee, paid $40 million in 1996 for naming rights to the stadium, located less than two miles from its main brewery in the Menomonee Valley.

That contribution was the final piece to a hotly contested funding battle to build the stadium, which was primarily funded through an added sales tax in five southeastern Wisconsin counties. The Brewers also put up $90 million toward the facility, which is entering its 20th season of use.

“Miller has been a longtime partner of the Brewers, stretching back decades,” Brewers CEO Rick Schlesinger said. “The relationship we have with Miller goes way beyond the naming rights. We appreciate the historical commitment of Miller to our city, our state and our team and we look forward to continuing our relationship for years to come.”

The company will still have a substantial presence at the stadium and will continue to be the team’s official beer sponsor.

“While the name on the stadium will change after the 2020 season, we fully expect Brewers fans inside and outside the stadium will continue to celebrate every home run and every strikeout with one of our beloved brands,” the company said in a statement following the announcement.

Photos: How Miller Park took shape over the years

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