Milwaukee Brewers offer $10 vouchers for fans at August home games
No one can accuse the Milwaukee Brewers of pocketing the money they are saving while Ryan Braun is on suspension without pay.
The Brewers announced Monday a program in which all fans attending any of the team's 12 home games in August will receive a $10 voucher that can be exchanged for concessions, merchandise and game tickets at Miller Park.
Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio promised last week that the team would find ways to “give back” to fans in light of the team's dismal season and Braun's suspension for violating the Major League Baseball drug program, and this is the first measure.
“This has been a challenging season for all of us, but the one thing that has never wavered has been the tremendous support we have received from fans who love the Brewers,” Attanasio said in a statement. “We wanted to do something meaningful to show our appreciation, and we will strive to provide the best fan experience possible.”
With attendance expected to average 30,000 or more in August, the Brewers project they will distribute $3.6 million in vouchers. While suspended over the final 65 games of the season as a result of MLB's investigation of the Biogenesis clinic, Braun is forfeiting approximately $3.1 million in salary.
Brewers chief operating officer Rick Schlesinger said the original intent of the voucher program was not to redistribute Braun's salary to the team's loyal fan base.
“We just wanted to do something to acknowledge this has been a very difficult year for fans and also everybody in the front office,” added Schlesinger. “We thought ($10) was a nice, round number. We had been talking for several weeks about reaching out to the fans and after the Braun situation those talks accelerated and intensified.
“We thought it was important to do something. It was Mark's concept, and we are implementing it. It's recognition by the organization that we feel the fans' pain. We all had high expectations for this year which haven't been met due to a whole range of things.”
Every ticketed fan coming through the turnstiles in August will receive a voucher for $10 that can be used for food, beverage, merchandise and tickets sold at nearly every outlet (excluding Friday's Front Row, portable merchandise stands, Miller Park Suites, the Johnson Controls Stadium Club and All-Inclusive entertaining areas).
Vouchers may be combined for larger purchases, including tickets, for use at any remaining 2013 home game.
The Brewers announced this is the first in a series of special fan appreciation initiatives they will unveil over the final two months of the season under an umbrella program known as “Fans First.” Despite their small market size, the Brewers have drawn well at Miller Park and Attanasio recently said projected attendance for 2013 is between 2.5 million and 2.6 million, down from 2.83 million in 2012 and 3.07 million in 2011.
“This is the first and most important step,” said Schlesinger. “We want to show that we appreciate our fans' loyalty in what has been a difficult year. By allowing fans to combine the vouchers to use in a variety of ways, we've designed this to be as fan-friendly as possible. It's flexible and easy and simple to use.”