BMO Harris Bradley Center
The B.C.
Bradley Center
Milwaukee Iron At The Bradley Center
Location 1001 North Fourth Street
Milwaukee, WI 53203-1314
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Broke ground October 20, 1986
Opened October 1, 1988
Owner Ben Brooke
Operator Bradley Center Sports and Entertainment Corporation
Construction cost $91 million
($169 million in 2020 dollars[1])
Architect Populous (formerly HOK Sport)
Kahler Slater
Torphy Architects
Zimmerman Design Group[2]
Structural engineer Thornton Tomasetti[3]
Services engineer M-E Engineers, Inc.[4]
General Contractor Huber, Hunt & Nichols[5]
Tenants Milwaukee Bucks (NBA) (1988–present)
Milwaukee Mustangs (AFL) (1994-2001, 2009–present)
Milwaukee Admirals (AHL) (1988–present)
Marquette University (NCAA) (1988–present)
Milwaukee Wave (MISL) (1988–2003)
Capacity Wrestling: 18,800
Concerts: 20,000
College Basketball: 18,850
NBA Basketball:
18,633 (1988-1997),
18,717 (1997-present)
Ice Hockey: 17,845
Indoor Soccer: 17,800

The BMO Harris Bradley Center is an indoor arena, located on the northwest corner of North 4th and West State Streets, in Downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

It is home to the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA, the Marquette University men's basketball team, the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL (and formerly of the IHL) and the Milwaukee Mustangs of the AFL. It is also the former home of the Milwaukee Wave of the MISL, from 1988–2003, the original Milwaukee Mustangs of the AFL from 1994–2001, and the Badger Hockey Showdown from 1989–2002.


The arena was opened on October 1, 1988 with an exhibition hockey game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Edmonton Oilers. At $90 million, it was meant to be a modern replacement of its current cross-street neighbor, The MECCA (currently named the U.S. Cellular Arena), which was built in 1950. The MECCA, during much of its time operating as a NBA facility, had the league's smallest seating capacity, holding just over 11,000 people. Funds to build the Center were donated as a gift to the State of Wisconsin by philanthropists, Jane Pettit and Lloyd Pettit, in memory of Jane's late father, Harry Lynde Bradley of the Allen-Bradley company.

Despite being one of the premier NBA facilities when completed in 1988, the BMO Harris Bradley Center (formerly Bradley Center) is currently one of the oldest active NBA arenas (The Palace of Auburn Hills in suburban Detroit and ARCO Arena (now Sleep Train Arena) in Sacramento, California also opened in 1988), only behind Madison Square Garden in New York City (which was renovated in 2011), and Oracle Arena in Oakland (which was significantly remodeled during the mid-1990s). The BMO Harris Bradley Center is unique in that it was a gift from a family without any provision for the building's long-term capital needs or annual operating expenses. While the facility is self-sufficient, the BMO Harris Bradley Center tenants such as the Bucks are at a disadvantage compared with other NBA teams due to the arrangement.[6]

Building a new, state-of-the-art downtown arena has been proposed by Bucks owner, U.S. Senator Herb Kohl, but the community reaction to the idea of a publicly funded arena has been mostly negative. In 2009, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle included a provision in the state's capital budget seeking $5 million in state bonding support to renovate the Bradley Center. The Bradley Center's board of directors told state officials that the building needs $23 million in renovations, so they reportedly agreed to raise the remaining $18 million on their own.[7]

Over the summer of 2010 the arena's longtime Sony Jumbotron scoreboard was replaced with a new 3.5 million pixel LED unit manufactured by TS Sports and Lighthouse Technologies, and was put into service in October 2010 at the start of the Admirals season. Unlike many other NBA and NHL scoreboards however, the bottom panel also has an LED screen, allowing display of many images above the floor itself rather than a static image of a sponsor or team logo.[8]

On May 21, 2012, the Bucks, owner Herb Kohl and representatives from BMO Harris Bank announced that the bank had officially purchased the naming rights for the Bradley Center, and it would now be called the "BMO Harris Bradley Center".[9]

Notable eventsEdit

The arena hosted the NCAA Frozen Four finals in 1993, 1997 and 2006 and the Great Midwest Conference men's basketball tournament in 1995.

In March 2010, the arena hosted the first and second-round games in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, for the fifth time since 1992.

Early auditions for the tenth season of American Idol were held at the arena on July 21, 2010.

The arena hosted Taylor Swift's Speak Now World Tour on June 8, 2011. During which, the event was broadcast on national television during the 2011 CMT Music Awards when Swift accepted the award for Video of the Year via satellite. She did not attend the awards ceremony in order to perform the concert.

The BMO Harris Bradley Center also played host to the first UFC event in Wisconsin: UFC Live: Hardy vs. Lytle on August 14, 2011.


References Edit

External linksEdit

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Events and tenants
Preceded by
Home of the
Milwaukee Bucks

1988 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Knickerbocker Arena
Albany, New York
Host of the
Frozen Four

Succeeded by
Saint Paul Civic Center
St. Paul, Minnesota
Preceded by
Riverfront Coliseum
Cincinnati, Ohio
Host of the
Frozen Four

Succeeded by
Boston, Massachusetts
Preceded by
Value City Arena
Columbus, Ohio
Host of the
Frozen Four

Succeeded by
Scottrade Center
St. Louis, Missouri

Template:Milwaukee Admirals

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