Top Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin said this week that governor Tony Evers' proposal to allot $290 million of the state's budget for improvements to the Milwaukee Brewers' American Family Field is not likely to be approved.
Assembly speaker Rovin Vos described the proposal as likely "dead" but also offered that he supports crafting a new plan.
"I imagine his plan as devised is dead but hopefully a different plan will be able to come forward," Vos told reporters at the state Capitol on Wednesday. "He is taking one-time money and basically giving it away ... I'm not sure (the) amount of time he's asking the team to stay here is ... correct."
Vos suggested that any plan should require the Brewers to stay in Wisconsin longer than what Evers has proposed.
"I think there has to be a different deal put together. Again, I haven't talked about it with the Senate, I haven't talked about with our caucus. So I don't want to get into all the details. But at the same time, I think the deal that (Evers) cut is not a very good one for the taxpayer," Vos said.
A statement from the Evers' spokeswoman Britt Cudaback said the governor “proudly worked with the Brewers on a bipartisan plan to retain one of our state’s greatest traditions and economic engines.”
American Family Field is owned by the state-created Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District, which leases it to the Brewers.
“The Brewers want nothing more than to continue playing baseball in Milwaukee for another generation, but the stadium district needs the resources necessary to make that possible," Brewers president of business operation Rick Schlesinger said. "We appreciate Gov. Evers’ leadership in working with the Brewers to put forth a responsible plan to keep Major League Baseball in our state and we remain committed to working with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to secure a bipartisan agreement on the path forward."
Under Evers' plan inside his 2023-25 state budget proposal that is backed by the Brewers, Wisconsin taxpayers would provide $290 million for long-term improvements the Brewers say are needed at American Family Field. In return, the Brewers would extend their current ballpark lease through 2043.
Along with $70 million already set aside for renovations, and interest earned on the proposed $290 million payment, the stadium district would fund an estimated $448 million of renovations over the next 20 years.