MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WFRV) – For the first time in 2022, the Brewers are over the .500 mark after a 5-1 win against the St. Louis Cardinals.

But that’s not what will be remembered about Thursday’s home opener at American Family Field.

Instead, it’s the sights and sounds of 42,794 fans packing the ballpark, marking the first normal Opening Day in the Cream City since 2019.

The coronavirus pandemic took a toll on one of the staples of summer, forcing the 2020 Brewers into an August home opener in an empty ballpark, and the 2021 Crew to kick things off in front of a 25 percent capacity crowd.

This year, there were no such limits to the fans and the festivities.

Beginning around 1:00 p.m., cars from all over Wisconsin filled the lot at American Family Field, with bundled up blue-and-gold clad fans grilling and sipping drinks despite 40-mile-per-hour winds whipping all afternoon.

Tailgating, at least on a full scale, was outlawed by the Milwaukee County Health Department for season openers in both 2020 and 2021. That changed when “Re-Opening Day” (American Family Field’s first full-capacity game) rolled around in June.

By the time Thursday’s 4:14 p.m. first pitch came around – no accident, by the way, with Milwaukee celebrating its area code (414) on the 14th day of April – most of those tailgaters had filtered into the stadium, where they watched their team put on a dominating performance against notorious Brewer-killer Adam Wainright.

Omar Narvaez hit his first home run of the season, Brandon Woodruff tossed five scoreless innings of three-hit baseball, and the Brewers jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead before riding out the 5-1 victory at home.

More importantly, though, it set the stage for the real staple of summer – fans back at the ballpark in true form, celebrating America’s pastime from the parking lot to home plate.