The Milwaukee Brewers have grown tired of Chicago Cubs fans converging on Miller Park every season. For the second straight year, they’re aiming to do something about it.
On Wednesday, the Brewers doubled down on a presale ticket plan designed to limit the number of Cubs fans attending games at Miller Park in 2019. Presale tickets for all 10 home games against the Cubs will be made available to Wisconsin residents only. That means Cubs fans on the other side of the Illinois-Wisconsin border will have to wait until tickets are made available to the general public.
Any claims that this presale is an attempt to prevent Cubs fans from getting Brewers tickets are… well, pretty accurate, actually.
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) February 13, 2019
Last year, the Brewers were a little more subdued when making the presale announcement.
This year, it was quite the opposite.
“If last season’s Game 163 taught us anything, it’s that every single game matters – especially in a rivalry like this,” the Brewers said in a news release. “And, while we don’t dislike all Cubs fans, we just really prefer when Miller Park is packed to the brim with Brewers faithful.”
“This is your chance to grab your seat early for 10 of the season’s biggest games and keep Cubs fans where they belong — comfortably at home — in the process.”
Winning the National League Central seems to have been a good boost for the Brewers confidence.
Now the question is whether it will be just as good for their attendance. In particular, will it motivate more Brewers fans to snatch up those tickets before Cubs fans can?
Unfortunately for the Brewers, their initial effort to limit the number of Cubs fans at Miller Park proved to be futile. When the Brewers hosted the Cubs last season, there was never a shortage of Cubs fans in attendance.
The reasons why are quite obvious. For the Brewers’ presale plan to be effective, the games have to sell out before tickets reach the general public. Surprisingly, some of the early season Cubs games last season didn’t sell out at all, meaning Cubs fans had ample opportunity to buy tickets.
The other issue is probably the one that hurts the Brewers the most. Cubs fans are everywhere in Wisconsin. In some areas, particularly those closest to the state line, Cubs fans almost certainly outnumber Brewers fans. In some instances by wide margins.
There’s nothing the Brewers can do to keep those fans from purchasing tickets. And you can bet many of those tickets will still end up in the hands of Cubs fans outside Wisconsin.
Perhaps the added buzz coming off a division title and an NLCS appearance will net better results for Milwaukee. Perhaps there will even be a few less Illinois license plates in the parking lot at Miller Park this season. But no matter the circumstances, Cubs fans will never be denied.
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