COMMENTARY | The state of Wisconsin could not be better suited for the sport of football. With winter taking up six of the available 12 months in a year, it makes for the type of climate football was meant to be played in -- below freezing temps along with the occasional snowstorm mixed in.
With how dominant the NFL has become across America, this gives the Green Bay Packers the most ideal conditions, being one of the most popular teams with one of the most dedicated fan bases playing in the most popular sport.
But that team plays 117 miles north of the city we're discussing here today. Neither the Milwaukee Brewers nor the Milwaukee Bucks need to worry about competing with the Green and Gold for now, and thank goodness, because they would each lose in a landslide in the popularity debate.
The Bucks and the Brewers will duke it out for Milwaukee supremacy -- apologies to the Admirals, Wave and Mustangs. But the Brewers hold the edge as the No. 1 team in Brew City, and there are five reasons that back up that claim.
Better facility, better audience
In 2001, Miller Park opened its gates for the first time to baseball fans. It's a state-of-the-art facility and features the only fan-shaped convertible roof in Major League Baseball. This prevents postponements, especially convenient in Milwaukee where the weather is often chilly and gross early on in the season.
With a relatively new building and the guarantee that baseball will always be played, the Brewers have enjoyed impressive attendance numbers for being in such a small market. The Crew has finished in or near the top 10 of MLB attendance in each of the past six seasons.
Then there is the BMO Harris Bradley Center, which opened in 1988 and is generally regarded as one of the worst facilities in the NBA. The upper bowl is often largely unoccupied because of its distance from the court, and attendance numbers suffer as a result. The Bucks have some of the worst attendance numbers in all of basketball.
The product on the field, court
The Brewers make a conscious effort to put a competitive team on the field, year in and year out. The result has been four winning seasons and two playoff appearances in the past six years. As for the Bucks, management refuses to start from the ground up and rebuild. This has led to mediocre season after mediocre season (at the very best), and the Bucks haven't made it past the first round of the playoffs since 2001.
Brewers games go hand in hand with summer, a time when there is so much to do in the city of Milwaukee. Nice weather leads to more people getting out and about, and baseball is the only ongoing sport. The Bucks don't have this luxury, playing in the dead of winter, a time where folks in Wisconsin would rather stay in -- or perhaps visit a nearby drinking establishment -- and watch the Packers, Badgers or Golden Eagles.
Miller Park. Tailgating. Brats. Beer. Summer.
BMO Harris Bradley Center. No tailgating. Middle of the city. Winter.
God bless Bucks owner Herb Kohl for keeping the team in Milwaukee but beyond that, there isn't much to envy. Kohl committed a boatload of money to build a new arena for the University of Wisconsin, but he hasn't shown the willingness to do the same for the Bucks. He purchased the team in 1985, and not coincidentally, the Bucks have been rather awful since.
Things could not be more of the contrary for the Brewers, who were spoiled when Los Angeles-based investor Mark Attanasio purchased the team in 2004. Willing to spend far more money than previous ownership, the Brewers years ago gratefully put behind their 12 consecutive losing seasons and 26-year playoff drought.
Dave Radcliffe is a resident of a little known Milwaukee suburb who contains an unhealthy amount of knowledge about Wisconsin sports. He has contributed to JSOnline and as a featured columnist among other sites and publications.
You can follow Dave on Twitter @DaveRadcliffe_.
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- Milwaukee Brewers
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