3 things you don’t know about old Milwaukee County Stadium

Credit: Ballparks of Baseball

By Christina Lorey

March 4, 2024

The old Milwaukee County Stadium was built in 1950 with dreams of bringing professional baseball to Milwaukee. However, the venue quickly evolved into a multi-sport, entertainment complex that drew people to southeastern Wisconsin for five decades. 

Here are three things you (probably) don’t know:

The stadium was almost home to another team.

The St. Louis Browns, who played in Milwaukee in 1901 (the American League’s inaugural season) applied for permission to relocate to the city they started in, but the Boston Braves (the parent club of the Brewers) blocked the move.

The Braves had been struggling out east, and rumors of them relocating had been swirling for some time. Three weeks before the start of the 1953 season, they made it official. The other National League owners agreed, and the team, which then became known as the “Milwaukee Braves” hosted their first regular season home game on April 14 against the Cardinals.

Fun Fact: In their first Milwaukee season, the Braves set the National League attendance record with 1.8 million fans. The stadium also boasts  another distinction: it was the first MLB park with lights.

For more than 40 years, the Packers played 2-4 home games each season at the stadium.

Why? Milwaukee has no NFL team of its own, so it’s still considered part of the Packers’ “home market.” Throughout most of the 20th century, the team played games there to attract more fans and make more money, especially while their then-official home (City Stadium) was second-tier compared to other NFL venues.

When the league threatened to permanently relocate the Packers to MIlwaukee, the team replaced City Stadium with Lambeau Field. By 1995, enough changes were made to Lambeau to make it more lucrative for the team to remain in Green Bay full time.

PHOTOS: The Transformation of Lambeau Through the Years

Fun Fact: For years, the Packers bounced between several Milwaukee venues: Wisconsin State Fair Park (1934-1951), Marquette Stadium (1952), and Milwaukee County Stadium (1953-1994).

Nearly every major musician played the stadium in the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s.
The venue hosted rock concerts for icons including Simon and Garfunkel, Pink Floyd, Crosby Stills & Nash, Fleetwood Mac, Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Loggins, Peter Frampton, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, The Jackson 5, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, B.B. King, Emmylou Harris, Nancy Wilson, The Staple Singers, Archie Bell & the Drells, Frankie Avalon, The Hollywood Argyles, Johnny and the Hurricanes, James Brown, The Famous Flames, Lobo, Bread, Andy Kim, Gary Puckett, Rare Earth, and The Honeycombs.

The first concert the stadium ever hosted was The Rolling Stones in June of 1975. County Stadium was also home to the Kool Jazz Festival from 1976-1980.

Fun Fact: The first unofficial, non-sports show was performed in 1960 by Bob Hope during a Braves doubleheader.

BONUS: Less than two weeks before the old Milwaukee County Stadium was torn down, a former grounds crew member took his family on one last behind-the-scenes tour. And now, that video has been made public! Click here to check it out.

MORE: The MLB’s Most Creative Logo Was Created by a Wisconsin Art Student


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.



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