'Breath of fresh air:' Baseball fans rejoice as Milwaukee Brewers' season gets underway

MILWAUKEE -- It's roughly four months later than usual, but Milwaukee Brewers fans -- and bars -- were happy to see the Crew back in action for Opening Day on Friday, July 24.

Regardless of the score, the game is a sign of hope for fans. There are no max-capacity watch parties or group shuttles to Wrigley Field, and masks are required everywhere you go. However, at Broken Bat Brewing Co. in Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward -- the return to baseball is all they can ask for.

"If baseball's not a sense of normalcy, I don't know what is," said Brewers fan Brian Pleva.

Milwaukee Brewers fans watch 2020 Opening Day at Broken Bat Brewing Co.

The tables inside the Broken Bat taproom were the best seat in the house for Brewers fans on Friday as the team faced the Chicago Cubs to start the 2020 season.

Just to have All-Stars Christian Yelich, Brandon Woodruff and company on the big screen brought a wave of opportunity -- and business.

"We're excited. We're excited to finally have sports on TV, and obviously being a baseball-themed brewery, just having baseball going is a huge thing for us," said Kyle Nelson with Broken Bat.

Broken Bat Brewing Co.

Even Cubs fans in enemy territory were in on the excitement.

"I think it's a breath of fresh air," Cubs fan Mark Atkins said. "It's a way to shake up the monotony, something to look forward to and be excited about again. And I think that's really what we've been missing a lot."

There is a steady stream of excitement for the pandemic-shortened season -- down to 60 games from the normal 162-game slate. It means every game now counts a little bit more. The chance to watch them live is something fans don't intend to take for granted this time around.

"It's definitely a good feeling, and although things aren't exactly the same as they were last year, it's kind of a step in the right direction, I think," Brewers fan Brian Oakes said.

Milwaukee Brewers fans watch 2020 Opening Day at Broken Bat Brewing Co.

"America's been through some challenges this year, unfortunately, and here's to hoping that America's pastime can help bring America a little bit back together," said Pleva.

Fans told FOX6 that they also appreciated the setup inside Broken Bat's taproom; all of the tables were spaced apart, and they were required to wear a mask when ordering at the bar which they could then take to drink at their table.