More portable toilets! Plus three other suggestions for improving tailgating at Miller Park
Today is Brewers opening day at Miller Park, which has long been one of the best days to be a Milwaukeean, in large part because it allows us to do what we’re best at: drinking beer and eating fatty food in passably decent weather. In a world filled with crushing disappointment and crippling dysfunction, tailgating at Miller Park is one of the best, purest experiences we can think of. However, we here at The A.V. Club believe that anything—even something this glorious—can be improved. Here are four suggestions to make tailgating at Miller Park even better than it already is.
1. More portable toilets
If you know about the ecstasy of tailgating at Miller Park, you also know that too much ecstasy inevitably leads to a heaping dose of cross-legged, bladder-choked agony at the portable-toilet lines. If you get to the game a few hours early, access the plastic outhouses usually isn’t much of a problem. By an hour before game time, however, the lines are usually a dozen people deep at the small handful of available toilets situated in each parking lot. Surely the Brewers could kick local port-o-john magnates some free tickets in exchange for another truckload of blessedly stinky relief-inducers. Doubling the number of toilets in the parking lot would be wonderful—we’d even pay a few extra bucks for parking if the temptation to pee in one of our empties was finally eliminated.
2. Parking lot concessions for the tailgater on the go
It seems somewhat sacrilegious to sell brats where the greatest tailgating in the world takes place. But let’s be honest: If you hoof it over to Miller Park after work on a Tuesday night, there’s normally not much time to fire up the grill. For those days when tailgating consists of drinking a case of beer out of the trunk of your car, it would be sweet to have some kind of roving food cart selling all your favorite Brewers-game sausages, before and after the game. The team would make a killing, and it would ensure that weekday, after-work parking-lot power-drinkers aren’t downing fistfuls of PBRs on an empty stomach.
3. Tailgating for bus riders
Here's a mind blower: tailgating...without the tailgates. For many dyed-in-the-wool, urban-dwelling Brewers fans, the Route 90 bus to Miller Park is the only way to get in on the Brew Crew action. Why not set aside a tailgating space solely for bus riders? There's plenty of room near the bus stop at Helfaer Field, and the various high-rent shelters and pavilions throughout the parking lot are almost always empty. It doesn't need to be anything fancy—a few picnic tables and some built-in grills that are scraped off more than once a season should do the trick. Sure, an argument could be made that tailgating is only for those who pay Miller Park's exorbitant parking fees, but why should fans that choose public transportation be left out of the fun? Hell, the whole thing could even be written off as some sort of half-assed "green initiative." Do you hear us, Miller Park? If you don't give bus riders a place to grill, the polar bears will die!
4. Live music stages
The Miller Park parking lot on game day is a lot like puberty: sweaty, confusing, and filled with awful, awful music. Why not take a cue from that other ocean of asphalt doubling as party hotspot, the Summerfest grounds, and install some permanent live music stages? There's plenty of local talent that would jump at the chance to entertain the brat-grilling, baseball-loving masses, and it would sure beat that guy who always plays his saxophone on the bridge. Two stages could be erected at opposite corners of the lot, each with its own style of music: a cover band stage for the 50+ crowd (located in the Uecker section, natch), and one dedicated to some of that "alternative and modern rock" music the kids seem to dig these days. Sure, the stages would eat up valuable, high-priced parking spaces, but there's only so much of Tom Petty's Greatest Hits and that "Party Like a Rock Star" song a sane Brewers fan can take.