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Today this headline seems a tad over the top but when I started thinking about this post on Friday…it seemed very very appropriate. After two weeks of reading arena finance articles and trying to put together a relevant post, I realized that nothing was ever being said about the Milwaukee Admirals.
This despite current Bucks arena plans call for the demolition of the BMO Bradley Center…the current home of the Milwaukee Admirals (in addition to the Bucks and Marquette basketball)…an arena designed specifically for hockey first (in an effort to acquire an NHL team) and basketball second.
So to me it seemed like Milwaukee and Wisconsin were uninterested in accommodating our professional hockey team in favor of the carpetbagger Bucks owners. And that would be truly a sad state of affairs.
But before I could get my rant off…the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel scooped me…and it’s only my fault for being a professional procrastinator. Oh well…they have more resources than I and can actually talk to Admirals management. So here are a few prime highlights from today’s feature:
But the new arena might lack one of the defining features of the BMO Harris Bradley Center: ice. And that means the Milwaukee Admirals are beginning to search for a new place to play.
“We do not believe we will be part of the new arena,” said Harris Turer, chief executive officer of the minor league hockey team.
The Bucks’ owners said a decision hasn’t yet been made about whether the future arena would include the ability to host the Admirals.
But Turer already has started what he calls “very preliminary discussions” with Wisconsin Center District officials about a possible lease at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, where the Admirals would share dates with the UWM men’s basketball team and other tenants.
Those talks “have been very positive, but not very detailed,” he said.
“It’s very likely we will not be playing” at the Bradley Center by the 2017-’18 American Hockey League season, Turer said. Hockey and basketball seasons both start in October.
A Bucks spokesman said the team’s owners continue to focus on obtaining approval from the Wisconsin Legislature and Milwaukee Common Council for a public financing plan that would cover $250 million of the new arena’s estimated $500 million cost.
The plan has been stalled by bipartisan opposition.
“We honestly haven’t made any decisions” about the Admirals, said Jake Suski, Bucks senior vice president of communications. “There’s a lot still unresolved.”
Mike Fascitelli, a Bucks co-owner, plans to meet soon with Turer to update him on the arena design process, and “continue the conversation,” Suski said.
The Admirals, however, will likely be left out, Turer said. He came to that conclusion because of vague, noncommittal responses he’s received from Bucks President Peter Feigin and co-owner Marc Lasry.
“Everything we’ve heard, or not heard, leads me to believe we will not be a tenant,” Turer said.
That might be a simple economic calculation by the Bucks.
Installing ice-making equipment and other furnishings needed to host hockey games at the new arena would add to its construction costs, and the Admirals would be virtually the only tenant paying rent for hockey dates.
“I’m not sitting here begging to be part of the new arena,” Turer said. “We’re a minor league hockey team, and we have limited revenues.”
I’ve been pretty quiet of late…but I intend to change that…and have a couple of other posts floating around in my head about the arena that I hope to post before they become too obsolete!
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