Ten Stories That Changed Our Lives: #8 Mark Attanasio Buys the Brewers
A Brewers fan. | Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
MILWAUKEE - At the outset of the decade, baseball in Milwaukee was in trouble. Even after Miller Park opened in 2001, the Brewers kept on losing. For four consecutive seasons, they lost 90 games and found it increasingly difficult to fill their new stadium.
But all of that started to change in September 2004, when Los Angeles-based investor Mark Attanasio bought the team from the Selig family.
"I'm here because of the tradition here, because of Miller Park, and I don't think that there's any question about the viability of baseball in Milwaukee," Attanasio said at the time.
And he immediately made that his focus, his promise to his adopted hometown.
"From day one, he was absolutel committed to providing the resources to building a long-term winning organization here," Brewers Executive Vice President of Communications Tyler Barnes recalled. "Anyone who knows Mark knows that he does not like to lose!"
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And Milwaukee started to take notice. Attendance steadily rose with the win totals, and for the first time in a long time, the city caught Brewers Fever.
"The surest sign that a team has caught on is the amount of apparel you see in the community,” Barnes explained. “And it didn’t matter if it was an alternative coffee shop or an assisted living facility. We saw Brewers gear everywhere!”
When the team made the playoffs for the first time in a generation in 2008, it was the perfect end to a decade that saw the Brewers rise from the ashes of mediocrity and re-establish themselves as one of Milwaukee's most beloved institutions.
“When you have a business—it doesn’t matter if it’s sports or any business—where everyone is working together toward a singular purpose, it’s amazing what you can accomplish,” Barnes said.