Brewers' Fans Endure Harsh Winter
Arctic Tailgate draws devoted fans.
With the Brewers in warm and sunny Arizona for Spring Training, their fans endured the harsh Wisconsin winter for the opportunity to purchase single game tickets for the 2010 season at the Arctic Tailgate, held on Saturday, February 27.
Tickets did not go on sale until 9 a.m. on Saturday morning, but some very brave fans began to camp outside Miller Park as early as Wednesday. Starting at the Friday’s Front Row gate, there was a line of tents and ice fishing shanties wrapped around the stadium. Brad Anderson of Menomonee Falls was one of the Brewers fans that decided to camp out.
Armed with a tent, football, a set of bags (now somewhat of a tailgating necessity), a baseball glove, and a baseball that apparently tried to find its way over the stadium wall, Anderson arrived at Miller Park Friday around 1:15 p.m. Anderson said that the mood among the Arctic Tailgaters was very festive to say the least.
“It was a big party; lots of people were walking around, having a good time. This event was a great excuse to tailgate early.”
The weather was not too much of an issue for Anderson, who kept warm with the help of a bonfire.
“Everybody had bonfires, the temperature was in the low thirties, so it was chilly but not awful,” said Anderson.
Despite the great atmosphere, Anderson ran into a bit of a problem Saturday morning. Miller Park security informed the tailgaters that they would go around and wake them up at 6 a.m., so they would have enough time to clean up and be ready for when the ticket windows opened at 9.
“At around 6:30, there were mobs of people at the gate that had just showed up that day, and they were now in front of the people who had been camping out, and we were putting the tent away and cleaning up,” Anderson said.
Anderson and his friends were obviously not pleased, and they informed the security guards about what was going on. After a bit of coaxing, the security guards escorted the group ahead of the people who had cut in front of the Arctic Tailgaters.
After the situation was resolved, Anderson did get what he was waiting for-Opening Day tickets.
“All they had left was obstructed view, but we will probably just go to the standing room areas to watch the game.”
For Anderson, the wait, cold, and hassle were worth it. For two other Brewers fans, they took a different road to get their hands on Opening Day seats.
John Belcher of Milwaukee did not have to camp in the cold because all he had to do was renew his season ticket package.
“I have had my seats in section 127 for the last three years, and my dad has had season tickets for the last 12 years so we always have our Opening Day tickets,” Belcher said.
Dave Schrimpf just moved back to Wisconsin from Maryland and unfortunately missed the Arctic Tailgate, but he still was able to get the most sought after ticket in town.
“At first I was considering trying getting tickets from a scalper on the day of the game, but I found a pretty good deal on eBay,” Schrimpf said.
On the business side, the Arctic Tailgate was a home run for the Brewers. Slightly more than 95,000 tickets were sold since they became available at 9 a.m. That total was the third-highest single day ticket sales in team history, trailing 2009’s total of 104,000 and 2008’s total of 98,000.
The Brewers ticket office was prepared for the swarm of fans. The ticket offices were completely staffed, and all 12 ticket windows at the stadium were open for business. Tickets were also available online and by phone, and due to the high volume of calls, the Brewers had some calls routed to a backup center in California through tickets.com.
Without a doubt the hottest ticket was the home opener against the Colorado Rockies on April 5, but tickets to that game were very limited, with standing room, obstructed view, and single seats only available.
Three other games that virtually sold out quickly were the April 10 game against the St. Louis Cardinals, April 24 versus the Chicago Cubs, and May 15 when the Crew will take on the Philadelphia Phillies. There is still an opportunity for fans to obtain tickets for the home opener with the purchase of a partial or full season ticket plan.
There are six other dates that tickets will be hard to come by: the very popular bobblehead giveaway days. The promotion starts April 11 with the Bernie Brewer bobblehead, next is the Hank Aaron bobblehead on May 16, Cecil Cooper’s is June 27, July 25 has Robin Yount, August 8 is the Italian Racing Sausage, and finally there is the CC Sabathia bobblehead on August 29. All bobblehead games will be played on Sundays.
There is no question that Brewers fans are more than excited for the 2010 season to begin. Schrimpf said it best.
“I didn’t come 800 miles to miss Opening Day.”