MILWAUKEE, Wis. - There's plenty of changes both on and off the field as the Brewers prepare to open the 2018 season.
By now you've probably heard a lot about the additions to Milwaukee's roster. That's the Crew acquired Christian Yellich in a trade with the Marlins, and signed Lorenzo Cain in free agency. Understandably that has everyone at Miller Park excited for the first pitch.
"You know, right now we're tied for first place and we're excited about the season. We've made a lot of great offseason moves, the team is looking really good, we had a great spring training, and we're excited to showcase new players. As much as we talk about renovations, at the end of the day we're excited about the team on the field, and that's the focal point," said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger.
That doesn't mean what happens in the stands and behind the scenes doesn't add to the experience. For the Brewers it enhances the trip to Miller Park.
"Most fans want to make sure the brats are hot, the beer is cold, and the game is fun," said Schlesinger.
Something that adds to the fun at the ballpark has been a tradition in Milwaukee for decades, the Racing Sausages. The tradition is back once again this year, but with the icons from the middle of the sixth inning best represent a big change at Miller Park.
That's with Johnsonville taking over as the sponsors and as the official sausage of Milwaukee's beloved racing mascots.
"It's still going to be a competitive race, may the best sausage win. We're excited to partner with them. They were a Brewers sponsor in the past. Obviously big news when you make a change of that magnitude," said Schlesinger.
Johnsonville taking over as the sausage provider for the Brewers in the concession stands may be one of the most glaring changes this year in terms of the gameday fares. There are plenty of other new options as well. Including pierogies, and loaded kettle chips (available in the newly renovated PNC Club Level), as well as jumbo pretzels.
Deciding what to add this year is no easy decision either. It takes research to not only find what fans want to have at the ballgame, and then getting the recipe just right before opening day.
"My personal favorite is probably the new pierogis, with the roasted garlic parmesan and the Johnsonville polish sausage with peppers and onions. We spend a lot of time in the offseason with product development, looking at new concepts and what people are asking for," said Executive Chef Seth VanderLaan.
"The whole culinary team has been very excited to showcase these new items. Did a lot of surveys, going out and finding what are we not featuring in the community that would do very well here at Miller Park."
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