As the NBA regular season draws to a close, the Bradley Center, home of the Milwaukee Bucks, will close its doors for the final time. Few will be sad to see it go, as it hasn’t been a home that brought a lot of prosperity to the Bucks.
In 2013, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver declared that the outdated Bradley Center no longer met NBA standards due its short arena size, and as a result, the NBA gave the Bucks an ultimatum — either obtain a new arena, or the NBA would buy the Bucks and sell the franchise to another city.
The Bradley Center opened in October 1988, and today it’s one of the oldest arenas in the league. Considering the size of Milwaukee, it gets the job done, and a lack of success in the franchise for over two decades has not exactly motivated many to embark upon a massive building project. But with a rising star in Giannis Antetokounmpo, many fans are thrilled to see what the future holds for the Bucks.
Finalized arena deal keeps Milwaukee Bucks in state for next 30 yearsAfter the Milwaukee Bucks and Wisconsin Center District signed a lease Wednesday to finalize the construction of a new arena, Milwaukee’s Read…
With this exciting future comes the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center, the $524 million state of the art multi-purpose arena. This new home for the Bucks will seat roughly 17,000 people, with an astounding 10,000 seats in the lower bowl. Since Antetokounmpo has been drafted, the Bucks season game attendance has gone up by more than 200,000 people. This new arena will completely transform how fans will view games in person, which in turn will hopefully give fans an incentive to come watch games at the arena.
This arena drew a great deal of controversy among the citizens of Wisconsin. Many felt it was highly unfair to fund this project through taxpayer money while private companies would reap the benefits in profits when it was all said and done. Nonetheless, the plan to fund this new arena was overwhelmingly approved in the Wisconsin State Legislature and signed by Governor Scott Walker.
Milwaukee could desperately use a playoff run, and hopefully a championship. Whether it be Marquette, the Bucks or the Brewers, it would be wonderful if the city had a reason to come together. Sports have a unique effect on fans in that it is one of few things that can cause people to set aside their differences and support a common goal. In a world that has become increasingly dominated by politics, it’s always refreshing when people can simply watch a game as fans, not political foes.
After decades of mundane performances by the Milwaukee Bucks, this exciting team and brand new arena finally give fans hope for a brighter future. Milwaukee faces an abundance of problems from severe racial segregation to extreme poverty, as the second poorest city in the country, falling short only to Detroit. With that said, a successful Bucks team could tremendously help the city.
This new arena has the potential to lift other industries and help Milwaukee achieve economic prosperity. New apartments have emerged, there’s potential for restaurants near the stadium to generate more business and hotels may see a rise in popularity as fans travel to witness the Greek Freak in action.
There will inevitably be a honeymoon period once this stadium is completed and many will come from across the state to watch the Bucks play in this impressive new facility. But after this period has passed and the excitement of this new arena becomes the norm, it will be important for the city and the Bucks to continue giving the people of Milwaukee a reason to be optimistic. Milwaukee has struggled for a long time and despite its issues, many have come to love the simplicity of the town and call it home. Milwaukee is long overdue for a championship, and if all goes well, a banner will hang from the rafters in the near future.
Mitch Rogers ([email protected]) is a junior majoring in economics.