Owner/Tenant: Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce/Milwaukee Bucks (and Marquette University Golden Eagles basketball; Milwaukee Mustangs; Milwaukee Admirals)
Terms: The naming rights deal is for six years at an estimated cost in excess of $1 million per year. BMO Harris Bank is one of 25 sponsors that are paying a total of $18 million over six years as part of an effort called Champions of the Community. The proceeds of the Champions program will go toward operating maintenance and improvements to the center. Other terms of the sponsorship deals were not disclosed.
Comments: After 24 years, Milwaukee’s Bradley Center, home to the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA, is receiving a new name.
Effective immediately, the arena is now called the BMO Harris Bradley Center. BMO Harris Bank obtained the naming rights by spearheading a sponsorship effort designed to infuse capital into the aging facility.
The bank is one of 25 sponsors under the initiative, which the venue called the Champions of the Community program, that together will pay the arena $18 million over six years. Other sponsors under the program include Harley-Davidson, Kohl’s Corp., Northwestern Mutual, Rockwell Automation, A.O. Smith Corp., Manpower, MillerCoors and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
Specific terms of the deals were not disclosed, but the sponsors will receive signage throughout the facility and the use of luxury suites, among other opportunities. BMO Harris Bank’s stake for the naming rights is estimated to be for more than $1 million per year for the six years.
“The sponsorship agreement is the starting point in discussing the possibility of a new building,” said spokesman Evan Zeppos. “I don’t know if I can predict whether there will be a new facility, or when one might be built, but that is the eventual goal.”
Zeppos said the reason the Bucks and the city hope a new arena is built is because by today’s standards. The BMO Harris Bradley Center is small, at 550,000 sq. ft. and a capacity of less than 19,000. It contains only 47 suites and three clubs, but no club seats. Some suites have been converted into 10 theater boxes.
While the money generated under the Champions program is not expected to go toward any major renovation projects, Zeppos said the facility is looking at various undisclosed items to improve the fan experience, in addition to updating the venue’s lighting systems to make them more energy efficient.
The BMO Harris Bradley Center was built in 1988 through a gift of $93 million from the late Jane Bradley Pettit. The facility was named in memory of Pettit’s father, the late Harry Lynde Bradley, who co-founded the Allen-Bradley Company (which became Rockwell Automation).
In addition to the Bucks, the arena also hosts the games of the Milwaukee Mustangs of the Arena Football League, the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League and the Marquette University Golden Eagles men’s basketball team. The center also holds concerts by artists such as Nickelback, Bon Jovi, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rod Stewart.
Contact: Evan Zeppos, (414) 276-6237