Some steel on the retractable roof at American Family Field comes from Luxembourg

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- With the announcement of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett's nomination to become U.S. Ambassador of Luxembourg, it has brought a lot of attention to the small, European country.

Wisconsin has plenty of ties to it. The retractable roof at American Family Field would not be possible without Luxembourg.

"They purchased the material from Luxembourg," Joseph Wendt, president of Chicago Metal Rolled Products said.

Wendt worked on the roof at American Family Field in 1998. A manufacturer in Luxembourg specially made the curved I-beam that allows the roof to move.

"They're the only people that produce this special I-Beam," Wendt said. "It's a very beefy, heavy specially made I-Beam."

He said without the country making this piece, the project would not have been possible.

"They're curved because the roof is curved so when the retractable roof opens up, wheels run on this curved I-Beam or track and it holds it in place and closes very smoothly," Wendt said.

Mike Ansay is an honorary consulate and dual citizen of Luxembourg. He said Luxembourg was known for its steel for many years.

"It's not uncommon that the skyscrapers in New York were steel from Luxembourg," Ansay said. "The strength of the steel is some of the strongest in the world. That's why it's utilized in large projects. It's unique."

Ansay is excited to see Mayor Barrett be nominated as United States Ambassador. Ansay himself is involved with economic development between the U.S. and Luxembourg.

"I feel Tom will do a wonderful job," Ansay said.

He said Wisconsin is actually rich with Luxembourg history. About 20-30 thousand Luxembourgers live in the state, especially near and around Port Washington.

"The Wisconsin area and region was one of the largest settlements of Luxembourgers in the 1800s," Ansay said. "With Luxembourgers here, it doesn't hurt the fact that the Mayor was selected."

Ansay's daughter Kate also owns Ansay International. She imports beer and wine from Luxembourg into Wisconsin. Products like the Bofferding Pilsner are only available in Wisconsin.

"My daughter and her importing business are getting a taste of Luxembourg," Ansay said.

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