MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee business leaders are on a push to rebuild the Bradley Center, but many are wondering what happens in the meantime, and how important is the Bradley Center to Milwaukee's economic footprint?
The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce just released a new study that demonstrates why the Bradley Center boosts Milwaukee's bottom line. "There's about a $200 million impact and about 2,300 jobs associated with the Bradley Center," Tim Sheehy, president of the MMAC said.
Sheehy explains those jobs are not only at the Bradley Center, but also at area restaurants and hotels in downtown Milwaukee where people gather before and after Bradley Center events. "If you think about 1.6 million people coming through the Bradley Center, that brings new money from outside Milwaukee into Milwaukee," Sheehy said.
The facility was built in 1988, and is the only arena in the National Basketball Association that has not had a substantial renovation. The Milwaukee Bucks account for about 60 percent of the revenue, so having a viable place for an NBA franchise to play is critical. That's why there's a big push for sponsorship from the business community to raise money for upgrades on the aging building. "The goal is to put the Bradley Center in the financial position to sign a five or six year lease with the team, giving us enough time to move forward," Sheehy said.
Moving forward with a community debate on how a new arena might be built. "If you think back not long ago to Miller Park, that is exactly what this community did, and we really hope to replicate that experience," Sheehy said.