Bradley Center CEO: 'Business community is stepping up' to discuss sponsorships
A filled Bradley Center on perhaps the most glorious day in the arena's 20-year history, when the Bucks won the 2001 Eastern Conference Semifinals over the Charlotte Hornets - a team that left to go to New Orleans because of a conflict over their arena. | Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
MILWAUKEE - The man who runs the Bradley Center says that talks they've had with business leaders about new sponsorships for the next few years are getting companies interested in assisting the home of the Bucks, Marquette basketball, the Admirals and a number of concerts and other events.
"In recent weeks and last several months, we've not only been talking about our story, we've been talking about the quality of life issues and how the Bradley Center serves our community, but the economic impact and other aspects of the building's impact," said Steve Costello, the President and CEO of the Bradley Center, on Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News."
"That story...is resonating. The business community is stepping up and talking about making commitments that will help ensure part of the funding needed to keep the Bradley Center going for another five or six years....while we contemplate as a community what the longer-term issues are here."
Those long term issues involve the possibility of a new arena for the Bucks, something that has recently reached new levels of public debate.
"At the end of the day, there is going to be a question of longer term. We have to continue to debate and discuss whether or not we want to be a big league NBA city. To do that may indeed require a new modern building," explained Costello.
"There is absolutely going to be a continued question and dialogue of what might come next, and what the consequences are of not taking additional action to ensure Milwaukee has a first-class, modern sports entertainment venue."
He said in the short term, the building that now stands on North 4th and West State Streets can continue to serve those needs for at least a half a decade.
"We believe the Bradley Center...can continue to serve our community for at least another five years or longer, but to do so will require us to secure the kind of financial support that will assure the Bradley Center will continue to remain fiscally and financially sound during that time period."
How will the Bradley Center pull that off? One way could include corporate sponsorships of parts of the building.
Costello said that they were committed to keeping the name of benefactor Jane Bradley Pettit on the name of the entire building, but they seemed open to other options.
"Could we have parts of the building named, and so forth, as part of partnerships with local businesses? Certainly, we are exploring a variety of types of sponsorships and amenities we can provide the business community."
Much of this could have to do with the building's desires to do what hasn't been done for years: a long term lease with the building's most prominent tenant, the Milwaukee Bucks.
"Our goal is to get the team under a multi-year lease. They're interested in that."