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Challenged by the news of Ryan Braun's suspension and a disappointing season, Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio is reaching into his wallet.
The team announced Monday that each fan who shows up with a ticket to any of the team's 12 home games in August will receive a $10 voucher that will be good for food, beverages, tickets or merchandise.
This is an investment in our fans and an investment in our brand, to do what we can do to mitigate a trying summer.” -- Chief operating officer Rick Schlesinger
"We were finalizing something like this to give back to our loyal fans just as news of Ryan's suspension hit," said the team's chief operating officer, Rick Schlesinger. "Mark decided he wanted to make a dramatic impact that would cost more money."
On Tuesday, Attanasio released a letter to fans in which he said the club shares the "frustation and disappointment" of Braun's suspension.
Despite a 43-61 record, the Brewers have drawn relatively well this season, bringing in an average of more than 31,000 fans per game. Based on those calculations, the vouchers will cost the team more than $3.6 million if they are all used.
Although it is close to the roughly $3 million the team won't have to pay Braun, Schlesinger said that wasn't the intention.
"This is an investment in our fans and an investment in our brand, to do what we can do to mitigate a trying summer," said Schlesinger, noting that this is the first initiative under the team's Fans First campaign.
Schlesinger said the aim of the promotion is to be completely transparent with fans. He said the Brewers will not raise any prices and are allowing fans to combine vouchers that they accumulate throughout the month.
The Brewers will continue to sell Braun merchandise in the stadium.
"We just feel it's up to the fans to decide whether they want to buy things associated with Ryan," Schlesinger said.
In the week since Braun was suspended for his connection to the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug scandal, Schlesinger said the Brewers actually sold more gear as compared to a similar week last year.