Brewers Opening Day preps underway at Miller Park

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Brewers home opener is Friday, April 6th (Good Friday), and preparations are underway at Miller Park to get the stadium ready for baseball fans.

"It's not just Opening Day for us - it's Opening Weekend, so we're ready for about 130,000 folks and looking forward to Good Friday," Tom Olson, General Manger of Sportservice at Miller Park said.

With four days to go, cooks were already hard at work in the kitchens at Miller Park. "We're actually starting this week with our brisket. We let that dry rub overnight for four days. Now, this week, we're actually going to start smoking it just to get ahead," John DiMartini, Miller Park Executive Chef said.

Later in the week, as Opening Day approaches, officials will announce 15 new food products available at the ball park."The staples are still there - the brats and the sausages will never go away. We're probably the only ballpark in America that has five sausages, with the hot dog, brat, Polish, Italian and chorizo," Olson said.

The chefs at Miller Park have spent the last six months working on how they're going to keep the bellies of baseball fans satisfied as they enjoy the Brewers games."It's just ordering looking at past history of what we did, what kind of numbers we did last year on Opening Day, what we sold and what were the favorites?" DiMartini said.

"What's going to make it easier for the consumer to eat? What's going to attract them? Because it's still visual appeal. You have to make it look different, because you eat with your eyes first," Olson said.

Of course, officials want the food to taste good as well, so they're always looking for feedback from fans. "I'll talk to the guests as they walk by - 'Hey, how do you like that? It's a new item we just introduced this year. What do you like? How can we improve it?'" DiMartini said.

With Opening Day landing on Good Friday this year, fish will also be served. Even so, Miller Park officials say it's likely the bratwurst will reign supreme. "To be honest, Opening Day, most people still get the ballpark food and the beers and sodas. They typically bend a little on the Good Friday stuff," Olson said.

With the anticipation rising for the start of the Brewers 2012 season, it's not just the fans looking forward to Opening Day. "Every day I just want to get started and get it going. Let's get Opening Weekend under our belt, and let's move on through the season," DiMartini said.

About 130,000 people are expected to make their way to Miller Park during Brewers Opening Weekend.

Other items of note for Opening Day:

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