SBD/December 13, 2013/Facilities

Bradley Center Sees Revenue Spike For FY '13, But Extensive Repairs Needed

Bradley Center will need between $25-40M in repairs over the next 10 years
The BMO Harris Bradley Center, reported a 64.3% increase in operating revenue for FY '13 as the facility "saw an inflow of state grant money, the Champions of the Community sponsorship initiative" and more Bucks games than during the NBA lockout in '11-12, according to Rich Kirchen of the MILWAUKEE BUSINESS JOURNAL. The Bradley Center Sports & Entertainment Corp. last week said that its operating revenue was $20.7M for the FY ending June 30, compared with $12.6M "for the fiscal year that ended in June 2012." But arena President & CEO Steve Costello said that the "financial picture is not as positive as the revenue figures might indicate." He added that a "better indicator of the facility's economic position" is a $5.2M net decrease in cash experienced in FY '13, "which primarily was driven" by $4.9M in capital spending to maintain and care for the building. Kirchen noted maintenance and improvements during FY '13 included "exterior concrete repairs, building infrastructure, signage updates, refurbishing public and fan spaces, and food and beverage service improvements." Among the revenue increases were sponsorships of $2.4M "compared with zero the previous year and an increase in state grant revenue" to $3.9M from $581,274 in FY '12 (, 12/12).

REPAIRS NEEDED: In Milwaukee, Don Walker noted a tour of the BMH Harris Bradley Center this week showed "wear and tear in key mechanical areas." Costello said that over the next five to 10 years, $25-40M in "major capital repairs will be needed." He added that those figures are on top of $1M "needed in routine annual maintenance." Costello termed the higher operating revenue a "one-time occurrence, especially given a 'soft' year for concerts at the facility." Issues at the arena include rust "working its way through metal exit doors, some of the key mechanical systems are as old as the building itself, the seats are wearing out and parts of the glassy atrium roof leak." Costello noted much of the building's original mechanical equipment "is still in place." Two 500-gallon water heaters that provide hot water to the 550,000-square-foot facility have "extensive rust near the bottom," and in the chiller room, the staff is "using the same equipment that came with the building in 1988." Asked about the atrium glass that greets visitors, Costello said that it is "beautiful to behold, but in some places it leaks and needs to be constantly maintained" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 12/12).
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