Ever since the sale of the Milwaukee Bucks franchise from Herb Kohl to Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry last April the looming news of a new arena has been rather quiet and mysterious. The sale of the Bucks was dependent on the new owners being able to meet the NBA’s deadline of establishing a new playing facility for the Bucks by November 2017. The NBA sees the 27-year old BMO Harris Bradley Center as obsolete. Questions such as “where and when” have to take a backseat to the question of “how” first. It would appear that the “how” is being settled. And we’re now closing in on the fun part.
This week there were some new developments as it pertains to the development of a brand new arena in Milwaukee. The economic impact of this new arena seems to have been put into perspective. On Tuesday, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker unveiled a “jock tax” allocation plan that would mean no new public taxes would be created. Essentially, to borrow Walker’s label, the Bucks will be paying their own way.
So, if the financial side of this conundrum has been puzzled together, then this all comes down to where and when. Where does this new arena get built? And, once settled upon a location, when does the process start and finish? With the news of Tuesday’s “jock tax” also came some renderings of what this potential new arena might look like.
For a rendering of what it might look like. It looks sharp. Much more modern than the current concrete dungeon look of the BMO Harris Bradley Center. I would hope that this new arena, in terms of design, minimizes the number of seats within the facility in favor of space to make the experience more comfortable and intimate. And that’s what the court level view kind of looks like to me with the added flair of glass panels inside the arena itself.
There has yet to be a location chosen for the new arena site but there have been a few spots chucked out over the course of time. The lot across from the BMO Harris Bradley Center, taking down Grand Avenue Mall and replacing it with a new arena while establishing a new mall where the BC was, or possibly even locating it near the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. Again, the next question to really be addressed next is then where and when.
So what does this all mean for the Milwaukee Admirals? Good news you would think. A new arena means new tenants are needed. Any building such as that needs dates scheduled and operations to bring in business. If the NBA considers the BMO Harris Bradley Center obsolete than so to must the Admirals and Marquette University as a new arena would effectively mean the death of the Bradley Center.
As for that headache inducing question of, “would a new arena attract an NHL franchise to Milwaukee, wink wink Sports Illustrated. I simply do not see it happening. At least not straight away. A great example to me of how this could pan out in the long run is the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. It was constructed in 2003 and opened in 2004. The Manitoba Moose moved in the year it opened and would play there as an AHL franchise up until 2011 when the Atlanta Thrashers moved to town and revived the Jets in Winnipeg.
Could a new arena in Milwaukee attract an NHL franchise? Historically this has proven to not be the case. The Bradley Center was built with the NHL in mind and never accomplished that feat. Yet, with so many swirling rumors of expansion in the NHL, of course a new arena in Milwaukee will get the name into the discussion. I feel like Milwaukee as it stands from a geographical standpoint would be far better suited for success than a Las Vegas franchise. But, with other locations such as Quebec City, Seattle, and even another team in Toronto as possibilities. I just don’t see it happening simply because a new arena is on the way.
What are your reactions to the recent news on the Milwaukee Bucks arena plans? Is the “Jock Tax” a good thing? (Please not turn the comments into a full scale political attack platform, plz thx) Also, could the new arena mean NHL hockey in Milwaukee? Could Milwaukee sustain an NHL franchise?