SBD/March 17, 2011/Facilities

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  • Wisconsin Gov. Rejects Bradley Center Funding Request, Approves UW's

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in his capital budget rejected the Bradley Center’s request to borrow $10M "to help maintain and renovate the aging facility,” but approved the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison's request to borrow $49.2M to help build a new $76.8M Athletic Department building, according to Don Walker of the Milwaukee JOURNAL SENTINEL. Both state-owned facilities "had compelling reasons for seeking state help." But Walker spokesperson Cullen Werwie said that the Gov. "made his decision because of the way the projects were structured." The Bradley Center has a “long list of needs: an aging roof, heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment that need replacing, and seat and concourse repairs.” By comparison, UW "made its case that a new building was needed to take the pressure off the McClain Center, first opened as a football facility but now essentially a home for the school's 23 sports.” The difference between the two is that the Bucks' arena "does not have public tax support and is struggling to find ways to generate revenue to meet its needs." The UW project “had the advantage of being a project that will be paid for through student fees and other campus revenue, as well as the gift funds totaling” $27.6M. Bradley Center President & CEO Steve Costello said that he was “disappointed to hear” that Walker recommended the arena request be rejected. Costello: "We are at the point that we're going to have to find ways, as a community, to extend the life of the building and plan for the long-term future." He indicated that the building has “at least seven to eight more years.” The JOURNAL SENTINEL's Walker notes there is “one revenue option that is not negotiable: selling naming rights.” The Bradley Center Board in ’08 “had to backpedal on plans to sell the naming rights after Lynde Bradley Uihlein and David V. Uihlein Jr., the daughter and son of Jane Bradley Pettit, said selling naming rights would degrade their mother's $90 million gift to the community” (Milwaukee JOURNAL SENTINEL, 3/17).

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  • College Facility Notes: Upgrading Liberty Bowl "Essential" For Memphis

    The city of Memphis has proposed to spend $25M to upgrade the Liberty Bowl, and Univ. of Memphis AD R.C. Johnson indicated that the upgrades are "essential if the school is going to put a better football team on the field." Johnson said, "We want to continue to do everything we can to attract recruits." In Memphis, Jody Callahan reports in addition to "adding at least two JumboTron video screens and upgrading the stadium's luxury suites, the money would be used to demolish the Mid-South Coliseum while making other cosmetic upgrades" to the Liberty Bowl. Memphis Housing & Community Development Division Dir Robert Lipscomb called the proposal "just a presentation," but noted it was scheduled to appear before the City Council on April 5 (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 3/17).

    THE COWBOY WAY: In Oklahoma City, Brandon Chatmon reports plans for Oklahoma State's indoor practice facility "aren't finalized, but construction might begin as soon as late May." The facility "will be used for all of OSU's athletic teams and would be the final step in the upgrade of the Cowboys football facilities." It will include three practice fields -- one turf, two grass -- beside the facility. The redesign also "features an Olympic size soccer field, meaning there will be plenty of room for a regulation size football field with ample sideline space" (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 3/17).

    MIGHT AS WELL JUMP: UCLA AD Dan Guerrero said that he was "'extremely disappointed' by an anonymous Bruins alumnus' plan to sell a center court section of the original Pauley Pavilion in an Internet auction next month." The 12-foot-diameter jump circle "is being sold by SCP Auctions," with bidding from April 15-30. Guerrero said that UCLA was "rebuffed in 'numerous attempts' to reacquire the circle from its owner, even after a donor offered to make a donation to the owner's charity of choice." The circle was used from '65-82 (L.A. TIMES, 3/17). Pauley Pavilion is undergoing renovations that should be completed for the '12-13 basketball season (THE DAILY).

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