Arctic Tailgate 2014 a Success; Event Lives Up to Name
Since John and I are down in Arizona for Spring Training, I asked Evan Entler, our Marketing & Advertising Coordinator to fill in for me back home on the Arctic Tailgate front. Evan is new to the Brewers and Milwaukee (he was hired last fall, coming to Milwaukee by way of Florida where he previously worked with the Rays), so I thought getting his take on his first Arctic Tailgate experience would be fun. And I only had to bribe him with the new Taylor Swift album to get him to do it.
So without further adieu, here’s Evan, ladies and gentlemen!
My First Arctic Tailgate by Evan Entler
John and Cait are down at Spring Training working on their golf game and hanging out with Hank (#BallparkPup), so I am holding down the fort here in Milwaukee until they return. And as nice as 80 degrees sounds right about now, there is nowhere I would rather be than camping out at Miller Park with some of the craziest fans in all of sports.
This is my first season with the Brewers, so I had absolutely no idea what I was in for at my first ever Arctic Tailgate. Coming into the event, I thought I knew a little something about tailgating, but I quickly realized that you don’t know what tailgating is until you’ve tailgated with Brewers fans.
I came here from Florida, where people literally will not leave their house if the temperature drops below 60 degrees, so it took me a while to wrap my head around the whole concept of the Arctic Tailgate. Wait, people camp out in the middle of winter? Overnight? In Wisconsin? And they survive? But I was ready to learn how to tailgate from the very best. So I bundled up in my warmest winter attire and made my way outside Miller Park Friday afternoon expecting to see a grand total of eight shivering people in sleeping bags camped outside the ticket window. Instead, I saw a line of tents wrapping around the ballpark as far as I could see. And these were no pup tents. These were deluxe, heated tents straight out of a National Geographic special called Ascent to Everest.
I approached the very first group of campers in line and asked them how long they had been out here. They informed me that they had been there since Thursday night. “Wait a second,” I said, “I thought we sent out a press release informing fans not to camp overnight on Thursday due to the cold temperatures?” Their response, “Yeah, that’s true. So, we just camped out in our cars instead.” Apparently if sub-zero temperatures can’t stop Brewers fans from camping out for tickets, neither can a press release.
I met all kinds of awesome Brewers fans on Friday night – fans from all over the state, most of whom had camped out at every Arctic Tailgate for the last six, seven, eight years. Soon the cold began to get the best of me, however, so I took refuge in the Leinenkugel’s heated tent, where I discovered that Sumer Shandy is just as delicious in 20 degrees as it is in 80.
Now full disclosure – I have developed a certain fondness for sleeping indoors, so I decided that camping overnight in 15 degrees was not going to be for me. Hopefully by next year I will be a true Wisconsinite capable of braving the overnight elements. But I returned bright and early Saturday morning refreshed and ready to rejoin the tailgating. By this point, the line had migrated into the concourse, and stretched from the ticket office to the left-field corner. A night of frigid temperatures had by no means diminished the enthusiasm of these ardent Brewers fans who passed the hours until tickets went on sale by scouring their pocket schedules to determine what games they wanted to attend in 2014.
Of course, even the hardiest of Wisconsinites can grow weary standing in line for hours in the freezing cold, but just as energy was beginning to wane, fans were refreshed with doughnuts from Grebe’s Bakery. Shortly after, the FOX Sports Wisconsin Girls made their way through the crowd to greet fans and fight off the cold by passing out handwarmers, and spirits were quickly revived.
Before we knew it, the clock struck 9, the box office opened and Brewers single-game tickets were officially on sale.
Now maybe you’re one of those people who really prefers to sleep in the great indoors, so you missed out on Arctic Tailgate. Not to worry! Single-game tickets are also available online at brewers.com. You can reserve your seats for some of this season’s biggest matchups including series against the Yankees, Cardinals and Cubs. But you should probably hurry, because tickets are going fast.
As for me, my first ever Arctic Tailgate experience was pretty incredible. I was truly overwhelmed by the passion of Brewers fans. I can hardly wait until Opening Day, when the real tailgating kicks off. It’s going to be a great season. #SeeUMarch31
-Evan Entler, special to John and Cait… Plus 9.