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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


A 0.1% sales tax in Milwaukee County and its adjoining counties raised $609 million over 24 years for construction of a new stadium for the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team.

A 1995 state law created the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District, composed of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Washington and Waukesha counties.

The district’s board enacted the five-county sales tax, effective in January 1996.

The stadium, first known as Miller Park and now American Family Field, opened in 2001.

The tax was in place through March 2020.

On May 25, 2023, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Milwaukee risks losing the Brewers to another city if renovations to the stadium aren’t made, and that the renovations require public funding.

The team, in Milwaukee since 1970, says $448 million in renovations are needed over 20 years.

Gov. Tony Evers and the Legislature are considering whether to commit taxpayer money toward the renovations.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


Wisconsin State Legislature Local Professional Sports Facilities Financing

Wisconsin Watch Do the Milwaukee Brewers pay for some of the maintenance and improvements at their home stadium?

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel The baseball commissioner has a message for Wisconsin. Fix American Family Field — or else

Sports Business Journal MLB’s Manfred makes big push for public funding for Brewers upgrades

Front Office Sports MLB Pressures Brewers to Make $448M In Repairs To Ballpark

FOX6 News Milwaukee | Wisconsin & Local Milwaukee News WITI American Family Field repairs, Evers optimistic: ‘We will get a deal’

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Tom Kertscher joined as a Wisconsin Watch fact checker in January 2023 and contributes to our collaboration with the The Gigafact Project to fight misinformation online. Kertscher is a former longtime newspaper reporter, including at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has worked as a self-employed journalist since 2019. His gigs include contributing writer for PolitiFact and sports freelancer for The Associated Press.