I love baseball and baseball stadiums, so I try to visit them whenever I travel to a major league city.
Last week, I was in San Francisco and took in a Giants game at AT&T Park. They lost to Philadelphia, which is too bad because I don't like the Phillies, but I didn't care all that much about the game. The park was beautiful, not so much for the stadium itself, but for its surroundings.
The stadium sits on San Francisco Bay and some sixty home runs have cleared the narrow right field bleachers and splashed into the icy water. From our inexpensive $23 tickets in the upper deck we had a commanding view of the field and the bay. (I don't think Miller Park has any seats as good for the price.)
The stadium sits in a neighborhood that has been redeveloped into condos and rental housing, occupied mostly by young professionals. Shops, restaurants, bars and coffee shops line the streets. A (gasp!) streetcar serves the neighborhood and the world has not ended because of it.
Contrast all that property value and all that urban activity with what surrounds Miller Park. The Brewer's stadium is surrounded by nothing but acres of parking lot. It's dead space on the 280 days of the year when the team isn't at home; moreover, rain washes grime and oil into nearby streams, and it's a heat island in summer.
When I was at 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, we did a study where we took the footprint of Miller Park and superimposed it on Camp Randall. We found that in that area there was $50 million worth of property, including beautiful homes and some of the most iconic businesses in the city (think Mickie's Dairy Bar). And that was ten years ago. It's worth more now.
Stadiums surrounded by real neighborhoods even work better for transportation. My brother-in-law and I took the Cal Train to and from the game, which cost about the same as parking at Miller Park, without the hassle of fighting to get out of the lot.
I know people say that Brewers' fans like to tailgate, and that's fine. What they should consider is leaving some surface parking for that purpose, but redeveloping the rest of the lot into a higher value, more ecologically sound neighborhood linked to the downtown by (gasp!) a streetcar.