State vs Milwaukee Braves

The Conflict

The Conflict between the State of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Braves Baseball Team

The issue regarding the Milwaukee Braves baseball team was the fact that they were relocating to the city of Atlanta. The state of Wisconsin was upset because of this, and filed a criminal complaint that the city of Milwaukee was being deprived of a major league baseball team.

First Problems

On April 14, 1966, only hours before the Braves opened the season with a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Atlanta, Judge Roller ruled that the owners of the Braves and the other National League teams had acted in “restraint of trade” and thus were in violation of the Wisconsin Antitrust Act.

The Results

Part of the answer to the question lies in the fact that in the mid-1960’s Atlanta simply held much greater potential than Milwaukee as a source of revenue for a Major League baseball team. Not only was it based in a larger and still rapidly growing metropolitan area, but it was also located in an area (the Southeast) without Major League Baseball. In contrast, Milwaukee was bounded by the Chicago Cubs and White Sox to the South, the Minnesota Twins to the West, Lake Michigan to the East, and the under-populated wasteland of Northern Wisconsin to the north. In other words, Atlanta’s superior location provided greater opportunities both for live attendance and for the sale of increasingly important broadcasting rights.