MILWAUKEE -- If you went to Miller Park on Opening Day, you might have seen some fresh faces welcome you to the grounds. Dozens of new people were hired this season to help tailgaters get to their parking spots.
“We had a good time last year for the playoffs, so figured we'd do it for Opening Day,” Brewers fan Luke Liukonen, who lined up at 6 a.m. to tailgate said Friday.
150 workers helped guide Brewers fans into more than 12,000 parking spaces at Miller Park Friday.
Penny Krafczyk's first day on the job was Friday. She is one of 80 new people hired this season to work the lots at Miller Park. Their duties include greeting fans, checking parking passes, collecting money and directing traffic. “I'm going to be parking the handicapped cars and when they're all parked, I go down and it's the people that have the suites here,” Krafczyk said.
“The traffic directors work in teams and they're trained on traffic flow and eye contact with the drivers,” Mark Mock, manager of Impark, the company that runs the lots said.
Krafczyk went to a career fair back in March where more than 300 people applied. She was one of the lucky ones chosen for the job and still can't believe she'll be at the ballpark for most of the home games this season. “People go from, ‘Are you crazy?’ to, ‘That's really cool,’” she said. “I love baseball. I retired and I set a goal, and this is fulfilling that goal. To work at Miller Park in some way.”
In the sun, the rain, hot and cold, it's a job that will always have its purpose. “The game will always go on and we're out in the elements no matter what,” Mock said.
The biggest perk of the job, Krafczyk says, is getting to watch the game once everyone is parked. “I just always loved baseball, so being around it in any way whatsoever is thrilling to me,” she said.
Mock says those who are hired at Impark usually stay for several seasons. The company has about a 90 percent return rate for employees year-to-year.