State Of Wisconsin To Grant BMO Harris Bradley Center $5M Grant For Improvements
The state of Wisconsin for the "second time in three years" is giving BMO Harris Bradley Center a $5M grant for "much-needed maintenance work," according to Don Walker of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. The grant "represents a change in position for Gov. Scott Walker." A spokesperson for the governor's office in December said that Walker believed the arena "had the ability to raise money 'on its own merits.'" Walker in March '11 rejected a Bradley Center proposal "for a $10 million bonding plan." Bradley Center spokesperson Evan Zeppos said that the arena "needed upgrades in many of its building systems, including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, lighting, roofing, seating and some flooring." Zeppos added that the grant "will not solve all the problems at the arena." He said, "There is going to have to be a public-private partnership while the community wrestles with the question of what to do about a new arena" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 9/12).
KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE: In Phoenix, Mike Sunnucks reports the Suns and the city are "ponying up $10 million for renovations and repairs at US Airways Center," which are "already under way." City of Phoenix Finance Dir Jeff DeWitt said that the city is "covering $7 million and the Suns are paying $3 million." Sunnucks reports the Suns are "paying to replace some seats in the downtown Phoenix arena to convert some luxury boxes into smaller theater boxes." Suns Senior VP/Communications & Public Affairs Tanya Wheeless said, "From a fan experience standpoint, we will be replacing a large number of seats in the upper and lower bowl areas. We will also be adding more theater boxes, which have been well-received by the market as businesses look for a high-end, all-inclusive option to entertain business associates." She added that the new effort "will include installation of seven additional theater-style boxes on the suite level of the 18,400-seat arena" (PHOENIX BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/7 issue).