August 2011

Brewers Officially Reach Three Million Tickets Sold Today

It’s been a long talked about “magic” number for the Milwaukee Brewers–three million tickets sold.  Today, for the third time in franchise history, the Milwaukee Brewers have announced that the club has eclipsed three million tickets sold for the 2011 season. This marks the third time in franchise history that the Club has eclipsed three million (also in 2008 and 2009).

This is very exciting news and a testament to our fans.  It has definitely shown in the standings as the Brewers have the best home record in Major League Baseball.  It is great to see large crowds day in and day out at Miller Park.  We are very fortunate in Milwaukee to have such a great team, a great ballpark and great fans!

Today’s date is the second-earliest that the Club has reached the milestone in a season, missing the 2008 record by just two days. In 2008, the mark was reached on August 28 while in 2009, it came on September 2.

The Brewers currently have sold out 27 games on the season and through 66 home games have a season attendance of 2,453,617.  The Brewers average attendance of 37,176 currently ranks ninth- highest in all of Major League Baseball.  In 2008, the Brewers established a franchise attendance record with 3,068,458 tickets sold.

The Brewers have 15 home games remaining in the 2011 regular season, beginning with tonight’s series-opener against the Cardinals.  Tickets remain for all future games, but advance purchase is strongly encouraged as availability for some games is limited.

–JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

 

What John and Cait Ate…More Than Just Desserts

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

-Yogi Berra

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it…and try these concessions!”

-John & Cait

This week in What John and Cait Ate:

John and Cait Get Their “Just Desserts”

During each homestand, we will be meeting with John DiMartini, Executive Chef at Delaware North Sportservice/Miller Park to sample some of the latest and greatest Miller Park fare and review it here, for you.

This week, Chef John walked us through each of the items on the dessert cart–a stunning display filled with cakes, pies, cookies, candies, fruits, liqueurs and more–which is designed to help you hit the sweet spot every time.

Read on for a description, photos and reviews!

After trying all of the items we’ve reviewed so far this season, we hope you’ve saved room for dessert! When your sweet tooth starts to ache, make a run for the dessert cart, which includes an assortment of items–most ranging from a modest $5-6.50 in price– such as:

Cakes

  • Death By Chocolate: A 3-layer, chocolate fudge cake that is to die for!
  • 3-Layer Carrot Cake: A tasty way to get in your vegetables, doc!
  • Strawberry Shortcake: A lighter option, but still delicious!
  • Cupcakes: Choose from Red Velvet, Chocolate Decadent, or Oreo Cookies n’ Cream–no fork necessary!

Pies

  • Caramel Apple Pie: A fall-inspired treat made with Granny Smith apples.
  • Candy Pies: Can’t decide between candy or pie? You don’t have to with these Snickers and Reese’s variations.

We hope to enjoy this caramel apple pie deep into fall this year!

Cheesecakes

  • Eli’s and Suzy’s Cheesecakes: Variety is the slice of life! On any given night, there may be up to nine different kinds of cheesecake circulating throughout the park, including: Dutch Apple, Turtle, Peanut Butter, Pecan Chocolate Swirl, Triple Chocolate w/Godiva, Blackberry, New York and Ricotta.

Other Goodies

  • Edible Pastel Cups with Strawberries: Fill these chocolate cups with strawberries and a little whipped cream and you’ve got a nice treat.
  • Cookies
  • Caramel Apples: Choose from five kinds, including: Peanut, Chocolate Chip, M & Ms, Butterscotch and Sprinkles.
  • Lollipops
  • Chocolate-covered Pretzels: Sweet n’ salty, a perfect one-two punch.
  • Candies: Choose from a variety of candies, such as gummies, jellies, Swedish Fish, chocolates and more, some served in a souvenir helmet!
  • Liqueurs: Celebrate one of Prince’s moonshots with a shot of RumChata, Tequila Rose, Bailey’s, Three Olives Triple-Shot Espresso, Godiva White Chocolate, Disaronno or Chambord! These shots come in an edible dark chocolate shot glass or in a souvenir shot glass.

These souvenir shot glasses are just $8 on their own; fill them with a shot of something yummy for $10!

Plus… If you’re looking for a quick sugar fix, track down the candy cart, located next to the dessert cart outside Suite 50. It’s treasures include Ring Pops, Starbursts, Skittles, Twix Bars, Kit Kats, Butterfinger Bars, M & M’s, Fruit Snax and more, all for around $2 per item.

We were like kids in a candy store when we saw this display!

After behaving like a kid in a candy store, you may be looking for something more adult. May we suggest the cordial cart?  The cordial cart is a special cart, located on the PNC Club Level, where you can purchase the finest top-shelf malt scotch & whisky, blended scotch, whiskey, bourbon, cognac, rum, tequila and port wines that range from a Macallan 12 Year single malt scotch drink for $8.50 to a $150 Louis XIII cognac.

At this cart, you'll be greeted cordially.

John: I don’t know where to start.  I guess I can start by saying that I didn’t try everything all at once the other day.  I have, however, tried everything on the cart at some point in my Brewers career.  Being fortunate enough to eat a lot of my meals in the Press Box, these desserts often make their way up to the dining room.  You can’t go wrong with anything on this cart, deciding what you want to eat will be the toughest part of the process.  I’m a big carrot cake fan, and the Miller Park Carrot Cake is among the best I have ever tasted.

The candy pies always seem to be a hit in the Press Box, my personal favorites is the Reese’s.  I was also told the the Chocolate Chip cookies are a favorite of Brewers Owner Mark Attanasio.  Having tried them for the first time the other day, I can see why.  They were fantastic.  Another one of my favorites was the jelly beans in a Brewers helmet, simple, yet fun for the ballpark.

Cait: Remember Veruca Salt? You know, the bad egg from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory? “I want the world. I want the whole world. I want to lock it all up in my pocket. It’s my bar of chocolate. Give it to me now!” Yeah, well, put me in front of the dessert cart and the Veruca in me really comes out–I want it all!

Like  John said, I have tried almost everything on the cart at some point during my Brewers career, so I know that all of the items are delicious, it’s just choosing one thing that presents the issue.

Here are my go-to selections:

  • My absolute favorite treat is a simple one: I love the caramel apples. You feel like you’re eating something healthy because it’s fruit, but add caramel and M & M’s and you’ve got dessert. Plus, they’re big enough to share and the cart attendants will cut them up for you upon request.
  • Anyone who knows me well also knows I’m a big fan of cake (well, to be quite honest, frosting, actually), so I really like the cupcakes, especially the Oreo Cookies n’ Cream variety.
  • Finally, if I’m looking for something lighter, I will choose the strawberries in the pastel cup.

While many of these items are made in-house, many are also brought in daily. Chef John told us that next year, he is looking to create all of the desserts in-house, which would allow him to experiment more and create special seasonal items. This means even more items to try–bring it on!

Rating:

    (out of 5)

Where To Satisfy Your Craving: There are six dessert carts in Miller Park. On the Field Level, there are dessert carts outside each of the Founders’ Suite entrances (just across from Guest Relations and across from the inside ticket windows near the Home Plate Gate). On the PNC Club Level, there are dessert carts in the following locations: on the first-base side outside of Suite 41; on the third-base side outside of Suite 60; outside of Suite 46-47; and outside of Suite 50. Suiteholders can also request that the dessert cart pay a visit to the Suite.

What about you? Do you have a favorite ballpark snack? Want to dispute our reviews? A question about concessions? Something you’d like to see featured here? Post your comments below!

We’ll be back with another edition of What John and Cait Ate during the next homestand and until then, stay cool and…Bon Appetit!

-John and Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

Cover Boys

With the recent hot streak by the Brewers along with the heat of the pennant race, our Brewers are no longer a secret.  Sports Illustrated took notice of the team and announced this morning that Ryan Braun, Nyjer Morgan and Prince Fielder will grace the cover of the August 29 issue that will hit newsstands today.

SI Cover Brewers

A cover image of the August 29, 2011 issue of Sports Illustrated, featuring the Milwaukee Brewers.

Sports Illustrated writer Lee Jenkins visited Milwaukee during the last homestand to write the cover story.  A selected quote from closer John Axford in the article describes the colorful Brewers clubhouse: “(Manager) Ron (Roenicke) embraced the youthfulness and craziness of this team. We’re not like most people. You have to cut us loose and let us go.”

This marks the first time in over 24 years that the Brewers have had the honor of the cover to themselves, with Rob Deer having appeared on the cover of the April 27, 1987 issue. (Braun appeared with five other players on the cover of the 2008 Baseball Preview.)

Other covers include:

  • 4/20/1987 (three Brewers featured as part of MLB “What They Make” package)
  • 10/25/1982 (Robin Yount)
  • 10/11/1982 (Robin Yount)
  • 3/16/1981 (Rollie Fingers)
  • 4/30/1979 (manager George Bamberger)
Ryan Braun on the 2008 Baseball Preview Issue

Ryan Braun on the 2008 Baseball Preview Issue

Robin Yount on the cover during the 1982 World Series

Robin Yount on the cover during the 1982 World Series

Former Brewers pitcher Rollie Fingers on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1981

Former Brewers pitcher Rollie Fingers on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1981

Special thanks go to Lee Jenkins and Chris Tropeano from Sports Illustrated and SIcovers.com for help with all of this.

This is an exciting moment for Brewers fans across the country as now the nation will know a little more about the colorful group that we all love to cheer on each and every game.  It makes me proud as a Brewers fan and as an employee of the organization, but we are not done yet.  I’m sure I share the same thoughts as many Brewers fans, I would like to see the Brewers on another Sports Illustrated cover in late October!

–JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

 

 

We Love…Bridget’s Entry!

Over the past few weeks, we’ve received hundreds of entries filled with thousands of things you love about Miller Park. Then, our judges narrowed them down to six for a final vote – and the results are in!

The grand prize winner of our “What Do You Love About Miller Park?” contest is Bridget Balogh from Menasha! We’re sending her back out to Miller Park again and again on us with a pair of 20-Game ticket packages for the 2012 season! The other five finalists also received fantastic prizes.

Bridget’s winning entry highlighted her 3-year-old daughter, Maggie, enjoying her first hot dog at Miller Park.

I caught up with Bridget last week and asked her how it felt to be the winner.

“Excellent! We are thrilled!” she said.

“What made you enter the contest?” I asked.

“I felt like Maggie’s picture really captured the spirit of watching a game at Miller Park and I loved the idea of getting to go to more Brewers games next year!” said Bridget.

Bridget grew up as a Brewers fan; as a child, she was a member of the then-Pepsi Fan Club and even recalls attending a World Series game in 1982.

“I was eight and very short compared to all the adults around me. I remember my dad letting me stand on my seat so I could see. We won that day; it was very exciting!”

Bridget was also fan of Paul Molitor and admits that she had a framed photo of him in her edroom for years growing up.

While County Stadium holds a special place in Bridget’s heart with her childhood memories, what she loves most now is being able to bring her own children [Henry (8), Jack (6) and Maggie (3)] to Miller Park with her husband, Dan, and making new memories together as a family.

“The excitement in their eyes as they take in the park, the crowd, Bernie Brewer, is priceless,” Bridget wrote in her entry.

While Molitor will always be her all-time favorite player, Bridget notes that Prince Fielder is the family’s current favorite player and that they enjoyed watching him in the Home Run Derby this year.

The Balogh family lives in Menasha which is a couple of hours away, so in the past, they have only made it to one or two Brewers game a year. Now, however, with their 20-game packages, they are looking forward to attending many more games in 2012.

“I am so excited and so is the rest of my family.  I promised my daughter that she will get to go to the first game with me,” Bridget said.

That seems fair–afterall, it was Maggie’s photo who captured the hearts of Brewers fans everywhere as they picked her as the winner of the contest.

Congratulations to Bridget and thank you to everyone else who participated in the contest, either through submitting entries or voting.  The outpouring of love for the place that Ryan, Prince, Bridget and the rest of us call home was phenomenal!

We love you all!

-Cait

Johnandcait@brewers.com

What John and Cait Ate…The NYCE Stadium Club

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

-Yogi Berra

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it…and try these concessions!”

-John & Cait

This week in What John and Cait Ate:

A Nice Dinner in the NYCE Stadium Club

During each homestand, we will be meeting with John DiMartini, Executive Chef at Delaware North Sportservice/Miller Park to sample some of the latest and greatest Miller Park fare and review it here, for you.

This week, Chef John treated us to a gourmet buffet in the NYCE Stadium Club. When it comes to elegant dining with some of the best seats in the house, there is not anything quite like NYCE Stadium Club at Miller Park.  In addition to providing an incredible experience on game days, the NYCE Stadium Club is also a premier location available for holiday parties, wedding receptions or your next function on a non-game day!

Read on for a description, photos and reviews!

Located on the PNC Club Level in the left-field corner, the private NYCE  Stadium Club is an upscale dining experience, offering a panoramic view of the ballpark. The  200-seat, multi-tiered dining room offers a unique  view of the action on the field, a buffet featuring Chef John’s world-class cuisine, and an outdoor patio area for fans to enjoy the Miller Park atmosphere.

The NYCE Stadium Club opens when the Miller Park gates open and the bar stops serving one hour after the game.

Guests can choose to partake in an elegant buffet, order off a menu, dine on the patio, or simply have drinks at the bar.

The buffet changes nightly, featuring a variety of starters, six salads, two butcher block meats and several chef stations. Depending on the menu, the price ranges from $38-$42. Drinks and desserts are offered a la carte.

On the night that we dined in the Club, we were treated to the following menu:

A lunch buffet is also offered during day games, ranging in price from $28-$30. Brunch is also available on Sundays throughout the season. Reservations are required for the dining area where the buffet is served.

The extensive buffet in the NYCE Stadium Club.

For those ordering off the menu, you can choose from several different starters, salads, ballpark staples, sandwiches and desserts.

The starters offered include: fried calamari, fresh Thai vegetable lettuce wraps, grilled chicken quesadillas and more, ranging in price from $9-$15, while the sandwich offerings include: a cuban pannini, a grilled tenderloin sandwich, a black and bleu burger and more, ranging in price from $11-$14.  Guests can also choose from a variety of desserts, ranging in price from $7-$15,  including: blueberry rum creme brulee, a giant root beer float and others, including the ever-popular “The Roof”. The Roof is a dessert comprised of a rich Belgium chocolate brownie mounded with whole vanilla bean ice cream and drizzled with chocolate and caramel syrups, then topped with fresh whipped cream.  When you order The Roof, be prepared to share–the portion you receive will feed 2-4 people.

If you choose to sit on the patio, which offers an awesome view of the game, you will be able to order from a more limited menu, comprised of favorites such as: ballpark fare, the NYCE chicken caesar wrap and an angus cheddar burger. This menu ranges in price from $4-$12.

The patio at the NYCE Stadium Club is an excellent place to take in the game with a cold beverage and great food. This photo was taken prior to the game on Tuesday, July 26.

As we mentioned, on the night we visited the NYCE Stadium Club, we were treated to the buffet, so read on for our reviews!

John: I’m glad we decided to do this review on a day where I was pretty hungry.  I was really able to try a little bit of everything, which is to me what buffet dining is all about.  I do things backwards and start with my “hot food” and finish up with my salad.  I started with the freshly sliced pork with sriracha mayo sauce.  The meat was very tender and full of flavor, it didn’t even need the sauce, but since I am a sucker for sriracha anything, I tried  it and it added even more.

The baked pasta with Italian sausage was fantastic.  Pasta is often difficult to enjoy in a buffet setting, but this tasted fresh and even had a little spice to it.  Perhaps the highlight for me was the Braised Beef Short Ribs.  The Cabernet Demi added the perfect amount of flavor.

There are always options on a buffet that one would normally not order–the item that is out of your comfort zone, but seems somewhat intriguing.  For me, that item was the sweet and sour duck confit.  That is definitely not an item I would ever order if I saw it on a menu (and especially an item I wouldn’t think I would ever eat at a baseball stadium!), for that reason, I had to try it.  I really didn’t have anything to compare it to, but it was pretty good.

With so many different options, it is hard to go wrong and while it sounds cliche, there really is something for everyone.  The whole experience is different than one would normally expect to have at the ballpark–white linen tablecloths, fine china–but that is what makes it so much fun.  You have an amazing view of the field (my advice would be to get there early and watch batting practice from there) and some amazing dishes prepared fresh daily by Chef John and his staff.

If you are looking to have one of those “special occasion” dinners prior to a Brewers game, this would most definitely be the place to do it.

Chef John encouraged us to try a little of everything. Here's just one of John's plates!

Cait:  There is something for everyone on this buffet–and then some! My favorite part of a buffet is that I do not have to commit to any one dish–I can sample as many as I like and sometimes, things I might not be brave enough to order as an entree, such as the sweet and sour duck confit, which was very good, or the pretzel crusted tilapia, which was quite different, but also very good. I also enjoyed the variety of salads-there are six different ones and from the tuna nicoise to the pesto chicken tortellini pasta, all of the ingredients were fresh and paired in interesting ways. Speaking of pairing ingredients in interesting ways, I really enjoyed the shrimp, crab and corn stew, featuring those ingredients along with peppers and red potatoes in a cilantro cream base. It was delicious! The chicken cacciatore, which is slow cooked bone-in chicken with peppers, onions, mushrooms in a spicy tomato sauce and served with polenta, was also excellent.  It reminded me very much of what my grandma used to make and it rivaled her recipe! This buffet had my taste buds in overdrive and I was stuffed–I didn’t even leave room for dessert, even though I was hoping to try “The Roof”. Maybe another day!

As a side note, I have mentioned in previous posts that I had my wedding reception at the NYCE Club at Miller Park (then The .300 Club) and the food was excellent then as well. Four years later, our guests still rave about the great time they had at our reception and I know that the primary reason is the unique and memorable venue that sets things apart from your average banquet hall, restaurant or hotel, and the excellent food, of course! See below for more information on hosting events at Miller Park.

Here's a photo of our groomsmen at our very memorable wedding reception in what is now the NYCE Stadium Club. Check out that backdrop!

Rating:

    (out of 5)

Where To Satisfy Your Craving: The NYCE Stadium Club is located in the left-field corner on the PNC Club Level at Miller Park.  The most convenient access to NYCE Stadium Club is located at the North East corner of the ballpark by the Left Field Gate. Club members and their guests should use NYCE Stadium Club elevator or escalator to access the main Club entrance. Only NYCE Stadium Club members and their guests have access to the club.

How Do I Get Access to the Club?: Only NYCE Stadium Club members and their guests have access to the club. Entrants are required to present a valid master membership card and / or dated guest pass for entry into the club. All Milwaukee Brewers Season Seat Holders are eligible to apply for a limited number of NYCE Stadium Club memberships. All Field, Loge, and Club Level seating full season ticket accounts with a minimum of two (2) full season tickets (excluding Field Bleachers), receive a complimentary membership to the NYCE Stadium Club. All 20-Game Business Plan accounts in the same areas also receive a complimentary membership. Annual membership dues are $500.

Admission to NYCE Stadium Club requires every person to present either a master membership card or a valid dated guest pass. Each primary owner is issued one membership card to the Club, which permits the bearer plus up to three (3) additional guests entrance to the club. The owner also receives four game-dated entrance passes (guest passes) for each scheduled Brewers home game.

To make dinner/lunch reservations, you can call (414) 902-4707. Reservations are not needed for the Lounge, Bar, or Patio areas of NYCE Stadium Club. Food service in the lounge, bar, and patio areas will end at the completion of the seventh inning.

Click here for more details.

Did You Know?: Miller Park provides Milwaukee with year-round accommodations for both business functions and social events. Through our Brewers Enterprises division, Miller Park can accommodate groups of 25-300 people in our banquet rooms and our event planners are available to assist with all aspects of your event from special audio/visual set-up needs to entertainment recommendations. In-house catering by DNC SportService offers extensive menu options for any event as a gourmet buffet, sit-down dinner service or an upscale passed hors d’oeuvres reception. For more information, or to schedule your next event at Miller Park, please contact Brewers Enterprises at (414) 902-4452 or event.info@brewers.com.

What about you? Do you have a favorite ballpark snack? Want to dispute our reviews? A question about concessions? Something you’d like to see featured here? Post your comments below!

We’ll be back with another edition of What John and Cait Ate during the next homestand and until then, stay cool and…Bon Appetit!

-John and Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

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