BMO Harris Bradley Center auction: Pink paisley guitar signed by Prince is top bid-getter at $25K

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MILWAUKEE -- The BMO Harris Bradley Center announced on Wednesday, June 13 that its public online auction of event memorabilia raised over $160,000, with more than 50,000 unique visitors and 200 successful bidders for 350-plus lots of signed instruments, microphones, props, costume pieces, framed photographs and other souvenir items collected from concerts and special events over the Center’s 30 years of operations.

All auction items received a bid. A pink paisley Fender guitar autographed by Prince during his “Jam of the Year” World Tour in 1997 was the top bid-getter at $25,000. Other items ranged from $17,600 for a black Gibson Explorer guitar signed by members of Metallica in 1997 to under $10 for small, unsigned souvenirs.


Other bid highlights included:

  • $9,650 for a Gibson J200 guitar signed by Neil Diamond in October 1996
  • $3,550 for a set of five microphones autographed by *NSYNC during the 1999 No Strings Attached Tour
  • $8,650 for a 1972 Fender Jazz bass guitar signed by the members of Rush in 1996
  • $3,450 for an AC/DC autographed cymbal and drum cover set

The auction featured event memorabilia only. The arena seats are considered part of the building structure and will be transferred with the building to the Wisconsin Center District when the center closes permanently later this summer. Most building equipment and furniture is being sold in large lots to direct buyers.

Additionally, some memorabilia, along with the original building plans and other historically important artifacts and documents, will be transferred to the State Historical Society, the Milwaukee County Historical Society and the Milwaukee Public Library.

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