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Adric behind home plate. American Family Field. August 16, 2022.
Adric behind home plate. American Family Field. August 16, 2022.
Michael Elizondo / TrueBlueLA

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On the Road with Eli(zondo) and Adric ... in Milwaukee

The Guide explores American Family Field

On the Road with Eli(zondo) and Adric at American Family Field

So you’ve decided to heed the call to adventure. Good for you. If you need to refer back to what the Guide actually is or who I actually am, please refer to the included links.

The Stadium equivalent of a grilled cheese sandwich


The Guide has the following to say about going to a game at American Family Field:

It’s nice; the same kind of nice that a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup on a brisk day is — no more, no less.

I have heard previously that Freddie Freeman views American Family Field as “a bad-lit Little League field.” Now I think that comparison is quite unfair. Going to Milwaukee is an interesting sentence to say that more folks should say.

Visiting Milwaukee in 2021 was the genesis of the idea of doing a travelogue for Dodger fans because once I had figured everything out, I felt empty because I had no one to share my findings with. I asked myself what the point of figuring out the logistics of going to a place if I had no intention of ever going back.

Going to a game at American Family Field (“AmFam”) is the manifestation of the following sentence: you get what you pay for in every sense of the word.

The following is all you will need to know about going to a Dodgers/Brewers game at AmFam.

The Five Questions of the Guide:

1. Is it worth going here?

Yes, but if you have places you want to go first — it will keep.

View from the Luxury Boxes. American Family Field. August 16, 2022.
View from the Luxury Boxes. American Family Field. August 16, 2022.
Michael Elizondo/TrueBlueLA

In a vacuum, AmFam is not a terribly interesting or exciting park. That statement is not to malign the field or the locals in any way. Initially, when people think of traveling to a Dodger game, they think of sexy, exciting locations like Oracle Park, Wrigley Field, or PNC Park.

Admit it; you normally would not get excited by the following sentence: “I’m going to Milwaukee.” If you like hamburgers, the television show “Laverne and Shirley,” or Harley-Davidson motorcycles, then this region has plenty to offer you if you decide to branch out from AmFam. Otherwise, this Guide entry is for selling you about going to AmFam.

The entry of the Guide serves as a defense for AmFam for that Dodger fan who wants something different and something good at a reasonable price. Therefore, for these reasons, AmFam serves as an excellent choice for someone who wants to travel for Dodgers baseball but for someone who wants to ease into the experience.

This assertion is especially true if you are someone who does not travel very much but has been inspired to venture out to see the Dodgers in person outside of your normal routine and you want to travel to somewhere more sedate than Phoenix.

For the first-timer at AmFam, you can go to Guest Services and they will give you a cardboard certificate that you can fill out yourself to mark the occasion. Considering that you are in the Midwest if you mention to any employee at AmFam that it is your first visit, they will likely talk your ear off asking you (where are you from, what brought you to Milwaukee, etc.). Depending on your sociability, this observation will either be a pleasant surprise or an awkward moment worthy of Larry David. You have been warned — please be polite.

The Famous Racing Sausages. American Family Field. August 16, 2022.
The Famous Racing Sausages. American Family Field. August 16, 2022.
Michael Elizondo / TrueBlueLA

I took one of the Stadium Tours here and had a wonderful tour guide who was energetic and very knowledgeable about the stadium and the history of the region. There is a second tour involving Bernie’s Chalet, a 175-foot slide where Dodgers’ correspondent David Vassegh infamously injured himself in 2022, which I have not done yet.

2. How should I get there?

American Family Field. August 16, 2022.
American Family Field. August 16, 2022.
Michael Elizondo / TrueBlueLA

Now, you could fly to Milwaukee, but like flying to Fresno or Sacramento, it is just more expensive. So instead, I would recommend flying to Chicago O’Hare airport, renting a car, and then driving the 60-70 minutes north to Milwaukee.

The drive is quite pleasant, even in bad weather. As a native Californian, having Google welcome me into another state is just odd and startled me when it first happened on my maiden trip. I normally stop at the Culver’s off the 29th Street exit in Kenosha, WI as a pit stop if I am feeling peckish.

Both times I have traveled to Milwaukee this way, I spent about as much money as I would have had I flown directly to Milwaukee. Moreover, AmFam is in its own isolated pocket of Milwaukee so walking is out.

American Family Field in Milwaukee by way of Google Maps
Good luck getting to AmFam without a car.
Screenshot courtesy of Google Maps

Some hotels and bars offer complimentary shuttles to the game. I have never used these services because I have resigned myself to transporting myself by rental car to and from AmFam. Parking at AmFam is quite efficient to the point of being noteworthy. Traffic into and out of the stadium is far more efficient than you would think.

Tailgating is still allowed at AtFam, so if you arrive early enough, you can chat and hang out with the locals. If you wanted to bring your own beer or sausages to said tailgate, I have heard worse ideas. There is a Walmart and Target nearish to the stadium. Tailgating at AtFam is not as amazing as tailgating at Kauffman Stadium (what is), but if you are inclined to do it, if you are being responsible, it would work here.

As to parking itself, I would recommend springing for Preferred Parking at AmFam. If you prepay for it, it is usually only five dollars more if you buy it prior to game day. You will be considerably closer to the stadium. As I recall, parking at AmFam only gets “expensive” for Cubs games.

3. Where should I stay?

Hotel recommendations for Milwaukee
The Potawatomi Casino - your best bet in Milwaukee
Screenshot courtesy of Google Maps / Illustration by Michael Elizondo / TrueBlueLA

As previously stated, walking to AmFam is not feasible because there is no hotel within walking distance like Dodger Stadium and Kauffman Stadium. I have already suggested that you rent a car, so mobility around Milwaukee should be very doable.

Normally, I provide a range of options for where you should stay. And there are plenty of nearish Holiday Inn Expresses in Milwaukee that will suit your purposes at a reasonable price.

I said in the Guide’s disclaimer that I have not been compensated for any recommendation. If you are willing to spend slightly more than a budget hotel, in my mind, there is one correct choice for a hotel to stay at for a Dodgers/Brewers game in Milwaukee: The Potawatomi Hotel and Casino.

As you can see from the above map, by staying here, you will be situated at a perfect distance from the ballpark, the riverwalk, and the Harley Davidson Museum. It is worth noting that valet parking is included in your stay at this hotel — you should still tip though. Moreover, if you wanted to drive to Madison (which is about 60-70 minutes to the east) and enjoy some of the best burgers you will ever enjoy while in Milwaukee, which is outside the scope of this Guide, I will provide links to my past exploits as an amateur researcher for the Guide, you would have easy access to the freeway and exploring the areas around Milwaukee and Madison.

Also, as previously alluded to, traffic empties incredibly quickly from AmFam after the game, so you would have a five to ten-minute drive to get back to the Casino, which is ideal after a long day.

4. Where should I sit?

American Family Field. May 1, 2021.
Seats in Section 430. American Family Field. May 1, 2021.
Michael Elizondo / TrueBlueLA

Seating at AmFam is a more streamlined experience than at other ballparks. Remember the following phrase: you get what you pay for. The above photograph was taken from a metal folding chair. If you are not differently abled, and you are sitting in a metal folding chair, not at field level, you have done something wrong. If you are sitting far away from the game, then clearly you are choosing to do so.

AmFam’s roof does retract and its status will be posted on the team hotline. I have been to games at AmFam with the roof open and closed. The game experience is fine either way and the stadium is not as cavernous with the roof closed, as say Chase Field.

Again, advice that you should sit behind home plate or avoid the highest level (the 400 section) is not overly helpful. But truthfully, at AmFam, deciding where to sit is generally not a hard proposition due to the fact that ticket prices are actually quite reasonable (even if you buy directly from the team) to the point where you can sit anywhere on the ground level with the only limiting factor being your budget.

As for the food at the ballpark, you have the option to tailgate and eat outside or enjoy the best sausages in the major leagues. The bratwurst, Italian sausage, and Polish sausage are of particular note. The hot dog — well, it’s a hot dog. The Chorizo is not bad per se, but it is the weakest of the five. There are restaurants on-site, including ones that are open outside of game days. To be fair, the food at AtFam is otherwise standard ballpark fare.

Instead of doing the usual categories of budget, fun, and value for seating, this entry of the Guide is going to split up seating into two categories.

  • “I want to be pampered!”
Seats in the 300 level. American Family Field.
Courtesy of the Milwaukee Brewers / Illustration by Michael Elizondo / TrueBlueLA

Seats, where you can have food delivered to you, are always worth a look in my book. In the 300 section at AmFam, the Club Infield Box, if you buy your tickets early enough you can get some great seats where you can be as pampered as you like by ordering food directly to your seat by way of the MLB Ballpark App.

Seats from the front of the 300 section. American Family Field. August 15, 2022.
Seats from the front of the 300 section. American Family Field. August 15, 2022.
Michael Elizondo / TrueBlueLA

Moreover, I found that seats are not as filled as seats at field level. This location may not get you as close to the action as you might like, but if you are traveling with a group of friends or can’t be asked to wait in line for food at AtFam, these seats provide a nice compromise in the delegation of labor.

In 2022, I paid around $50-60 a ticket for a seat in this section and I bought them early enough that I was able to get front-row seats.

  • “I want to watch the game!”
The view from behind home plate. American Family Field. August 16, 2022.
The view from behind home plate. American Family Field. August 16, 2022.
Michael Elizondo/TrueBlueLA

The priciest seats are the seats closest to home plate or the dugouts and obviously, you would get the best view. But if you do not feel like spending in the neighborhood of $100/ticket (or more), there is always the option to sit in the sections immediately behind what I have just described, as the prices are quite reasonable and the view you get is quite good for what you are paying for.

Personally, I would try to stay in the vicinity of home plate, but if the goal is potentially to interact with the Dodgers, then you are better off sitting on the third base side as shown below.

Sections 222 to 231. American Family Field.
Sections 222 to 231. American Family Field.
Courtesy of the Milwaukee Brewers / Illustration by Michael Elizondo/TrueBlueLA

Regardless of where you pick, as long as you remember you get what you pay for at AmFam, you will have a great view of the game. Accordingly, I would not venture into the upper deck (section 400+, unless it was to take a picture with the Bob Uecker statue before the game) or into the bleachers for a game at AmFam. The savings you would get sacrifice your view of the game and there is no reason to do that here as the price of a decent ticket is not a major concern in Milwaukee.

5. After your trip, is it worth going back?

Walking the warning track. American Family Field. August 16. 2022.
Walking the warning track. American Family Field. August 16. 2022.
Michael Elizondo/TrueBlueLA
  • Hey, that was fun, but I don’t need to go back right away.

I attended four games at AtFam in 2021 and 2022. The Dodgers have won only once. In fact, two of the losses have been walk-offs. As a result, I now grimace at hearing a certain Hall and Oates song, which serves as the Brewers’ winning song.

AmFam will likely not be the greatest ballpark you ever go to. Objectively, it’s not the best ballpark in the Major Leagues. The locals care deeply about their team and there’s a plucky sense of being an underdog that resonates throughout the region regarding the Brewers, which is charming a good deal of the time.

I do have sentimental reasons why I will never forget Milwaukee or AmFam. My fondness aside, I can say that this ballpark is worth your time if you choose to go. And someday, I will likely return, eager to see friends and enjoy this part of the Major Leagues that is often overlooked. Give it a shot, you’ll likely be glad you did.

Adric: See you next time!
Michael Elizondo / TrueBlueLA

Author’s Note: This entry of the Guide is dedicated in memoriam to my stepfather, Bill Hurley, who passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2022 before being able to visit the stadium with my mother and me.

Bill and me at McGeorge School of Law. November 5, 2016.
Bill and me at McGeorge School of Law. November 5, 2016.
Michael Elizondo/TrueBlueLA
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