MILWAUKEE -

Nearly half the fans at Milwaukee Brewers games come from outside the five-county metropolitan area, and their spending has provided a local boost.

A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report states those fans have an economic impact of about $263 million per year. That's according to a new study by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The Brewers draw about 2.6 million fans each season, about 1 million more than the team attracted in its final years at County Stadium. Officials with the Miller Park stadium district said the stadium's retractable roof is a big reason because it prevents rain-outs.

Don Smiley is the board chairman of the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District. He said the parking lot is often filled with cars and buses from throughout the state and the Midwest.