MILWAUKEE, Wis. – The Bradley Center Sports & Entertainment Corporation today released its annual financial report for fiscal year 2013, highlighting the importance – and cost – of continuing to keep the aging BMO Harris Bradley Center viable as the community continues to explore the idea of a potential replacement for the 25-year-old arena.
While the Center reported $20.7 million in total operating revenues for fiscal 2013, up from $12.6 million the previous year, BMO Harris Bradley Center Steve Costello said the 64 percent hike was a one-time occurrence as the result of State grant money, Champions of the Community revenue and more Bucks games due to the NBA lockout in fiscal 2012 and the team’s first-round playoff appearance in fiscal 2013. A better indicator of the Center’s economic position, he said, is the $5.2 million net decrease in cash experienced in fiscal 2013, primarily driven by $4.9 million in capital spending to maintain and care for the building.
“We work hard to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable fan experience, but as far as buildings go, the BMO Harris Bradley Center is a senior citizen,” Costello said. “It is becoming more and more difficult to maintain the building – and a stable fiscal position – amid the challenges that we face. The uncertainty surrounding the Center’s future adds to our challenges, and we are trying to do what we can with extremely limited resources.”
Maintenance and improvements carried out during fiscal 2013 included exterior concrete repairs, building infrastructure, signage updates, refurbishment of public and fan spaces and food and beverage service improvements. The BMO Harris Bradley Center has invested approximately $67 million in improvements, capital repair and routine replacement since opening, Costello said, and more will be required to keep the aging building viable for the next several years.
“We have been able to do some good work that enhances the event experience for all fans, but our current and future challenges are significant and real,” he said. “With so many needs, limited resources and an uncertain future as the community discusses its options, our focus will be on trying to maintain a positive fan experience while also keeping this building as a community asset. We appreciate the support we have received from the Champions of the Community, the State of Wisconsin and most recently the City of Milwaukee – that support and more will be essential to our goal of keeping this building as a viable economic engine and job creator for metro Milwaukee until the community decides the Center’s future role.”
More than 1.4 million people visited the BMO Harris Bradley Center in fiscal 2013 for 161 events, including Milwaukee Bucks games, Milwaukee Admirals games, Marquette Golden Eagles men’s basketball games, community events and concerts including Rod Stewart & Stevie Nicks, Justin Bieber, Bob Dylan, Journey and Carrie Underwood.