BMO Harris Bradley Center
BMO Harris Bradley Center logo
|Location||1001 North Fourth Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53203
|Owner||Bradley Center Sports and Entertainment Corporation|
|Operator||Bradley Center Sports and Entertainment Corporation|
College Basketball: 18,850
Ice Hockey: 17,845
Indoor Soccer: 17,800
|Broke ground||October 20, 1986|
|Opened||October 1, 1988|
|Construction cost||$91 million
($181 million in 2015 dollars)
Zimmerman Design Group
|Structural engineer||Thornton Tomasetti|
|Services engineer||M-E Engineers, Inc.|
|General contractor||Huber, Hunt & Nichols|
|Milwaukee Bucks (NBA) (1988–present)
Milwaukee Mustangs (AFL) (1994–2001, 2009–2013)
Milwaukee Admirals (AHL) (1988–present)
Marquette University (NCAA) (1988–present)
Milwaukee Wave (MISL) (1988–2003)
2015 JCC Maccabi Games
It is home to the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA, the Marquette University men's basketball team, and the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL (and formerly of the IHL). It is also the former home of the Milwaukee Wave of the MISL, from 1988 to 2003, the original Milwaukee Mustangs of the AFL from 1994 to 2001, along with the second incarnation of the team from 2009 to 2013 and the Badger Hockey Showdown from 1989 to 2002.
The arena was opened on October 1, 1988 with an exhibition hockey game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Edmonton Oilers. At $90 million, it was meant to be a modern replacement of its current cross-street neighbor, The MECCA (now named the UW–Milwaukee Panther Arena), which was built in 1950. This arena was built for an NHL expansion team; instead, the Milwaukee Admirals moved in. The MECCA, during much of its time operating as an NBA facility, had the league's smallest seating capacity, holding just over 11,000 people. Funds to build the Center were donated as a gift to the State of Wisconsin by philanthropists, Jane Bradley Pettit and Lloyd Pettit, in memory of Jane's late father, Harry Lynde Bradley of the Allen-Bradley company.
Despite being one of the premier NBA facilities when completed in 1988, the BMO Harris Bradley Center (formerly Bradley Center) is currently one of the oldest active NBA arenas (The Palace of Auburn Hills in suburban Detroit and ARCO Arena (now Sleep Train Arena) in Sacramento, California also opened in 1988), only behind Madison Square Garden in New York City (which was renovated in 2011), and Oracle Arena in Oakland (which was significantly remodeled during the mid-1990s). The BMO Harris Bradley Center is unique in that it was a gift from a family without any provision for the building's long-term capital needs or annual operating expenses. While the facility is self-sufficient, the BMO Harris Bradley Center tenants such as the Bucks are at a disadvantage compared with other NBA teams due to the arrangement.
Building a new, state-of-the-art downtown arena was proposed by former Bucks owner and former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl, but the community reaction to the idea of a publicly funded arena has been mostly negative. In 2009, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle included a provision in the state's capital budget seeking $5 million in state bonding support to renovate the Bradley Center. The Bradley Center's board of directors told state officials that the building needs $23 million in renovations, so they reportedly agreed to raise the remaining $18 million on their own.
Over the summer of 2010 the arena's longtime Sony Jumbotron scoreboard was replaced with a new 3.5-million-pixel LED unit manufactured by TS Sports and Lighthouse Technologies, and was put into service in October 2010 at the start of the Admirals season. Unlike many other NBA and NHL scoreboards however, the bottom panel also has an LED screen, allowing display of many images above the floor itself rather than a static image of a sponsor or team logo.
On May 21, 2012, the Bucks' then-owner Herb Kohl and representatives from BMO Harris Bank announced that the bank had officially purchased the naming rights for the Bradley Center, and it would now be called the "BMO Harris Bradley Center".
On April 16, 2014 it was announced that Bucks' owner Herb Kohl had agreed to sell the franchise to New York hedge-fund investors Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens. The deal included provisions for $100 million each from Kohl and the new ownership group, for a total of $200 million, towards the construction of a new downtown arena.
While no location has been specifically determined for the new Milwaukee Bucks Arena, the team owners are asking that public funding, from some source, will be required to finance the project. The NBA has issued a mandate requiring the Bucks to relocate, or be close to completion of a new facility, by 2017. In the event that funding is not secured in time, the new owners have the option to sell the team back to the NBA, which could relocate it to a new market.
Early auditions for the tenth season of American Idol were held at the arena on July 21, 2010.
The arena hosted Taylor Swift's Speak Now World Tour on June 8, 2011. During which, the event was broadcast on national television during the 2011 CMT Music Awards when Swift accepted the award for Video of the Year via satellite. She did not attend the awards ceremony in order to perform the concert.
The Bradley Center has been a fixture for World Wrestling Entertainment since February 1989 when it hosted The Main Event II, where the Mega Powers of Macho Man Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan "exploded", setting up a match between the two stars at Wrestlemania V. Shortly thereafter, WWE's ratings fell and they began using the smaller MECCA for shows, but they have since returned and the Bradley Center has hosted WWE Pay Per Views No Way Out (2002), Taboo Tuesday (2004), and Elimination Chamber (2012). The Bradley Center also regularly hosts Raw and Smackdown.
The Bradley Center hosted P!nk's Truth About Love Tour to a sold out arena, on January 9, 2014.
The Bradley Center was a host site for second and third-round games in the 2014 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, for the sixth time since 1992.
The arena set up for a Milwaukee Bucks game in 2005.
The arena set up for a Milwaukee Admirals game in 2011.
The arena set up for a Milwaukee Iron game in 2009.
- Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
- "2010-2011 Milwaukee Bucks Media Guide" (PDF). Milwaukee Bucks. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- "Sports & Entertainment" (PDF). Thornton Tomasetti. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- "Projects: Professional Sports Arenas". M-E Engineers, Inc. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
- "BMO Harris Bradley Center". Ballparks.com. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- Walker, Don (December 13, 2008). "Bradley Center a Home-Court Disadvantage". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
- Walker, Don (March 26, 2009). "Doyle Budget Includes Help for Bradley Center". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
- Walker, Don (June 10, 2010). "Bradley Center Unveils Details of New Scoreboard". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
- Walker, Don (May 21, 2012). "Naming Rights for Bradley Center Sold to BMO Harris". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- Kirchen, Rich (September 18, 2013). "Incoming NBA Commissioner Silver Says Bradley Center Unfit for League". Milwaukee Business Journal. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- Walkers, Don (April 17, 2014). "Kohl Sells Bucks for $550 Million; $200 Million Pledged for New Arena". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- Walkers, Don (April 16, 2014). "Now the Real Work Begins: Who Will Finance Arena?". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to BMO Harris Bradley Center.|
- BMO Harris Bradley Center - Bucks.com
- BMO Harris Bradley Center - Marquette University Athletics
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