Bradley Center wraps up business operations

Transfers $4.29 million in remaining assets to State of Wisconsin

BMO Harris Bradley Center

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:09 pm

BMO Harris Bradley Center

The 550,000-square-foot structure that once housed the Bradley Center currently is only partially demolished, but the entity that owned and operated the stadium during its 30-year life has officially closed its books.

The Bradley Center Sports & Entertainment Corporation today announced it has wrapped up its business affairs and transferred remaining assets of $4.29 million to the State of Wisconsin.

BCSEC, which was “created by the state to own and operate the Bradley Center on behalf of the people of Wisconsin,” according to a news release, also has established a liquidating trust to address trailing obligations and unexpected claims that may arise. Upon termination of the liquidating trust, all of those remaining assets will also go to the State of Wisconsin. 

That’s according to a letter from board chairman Ted Kellner submitted to Gov. Tony Evers and other state officials on Thursday, along with the center’s final audited financial statements. 

“On behalf of all of the community volunteers who have served on the Bradley Center Board and the dedicated staff who made Jane Bradley Pettit’s gift a transformative part of our community fabric, we are thrilled to honor Mrs. Pettit’s generosity and enduring legacy by transferring more than $4 million to the state,” Kellner said. “The strong results reflected in the Center’s final financial statements reflect a history of fiscally sound stewardship of this one-of-a-kind state asset and an exceptionally successful final season right up to the building’s very last event in July 2018.”

That event was part of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.’s annual convention.

In a statement released today, Evers praised the Bradley Center for its lasting impact on Milwaukee and its evolving sports and entertainment scene. 

“Back in the mid-’80s, Jane Bradley Pettit and the many partners who joined her in supporting the Bradley Center had a steadfast belief in the future of Milwaukee as a big-league city,” Evers said. “The exciting times we’re witnessing now proves they were right. We appreciate the work of the Bradley Center Board and staff over the years, and look forward to the next chapter of greatness unfolding now in Milwaukee.”

The BCSEC was led by president and CEO Steve Costello who expressed his gratitude for the Bradley Center’s 50 million total visitors; longtime tenants Milwaukee Bucks, Marquette Golden Eagles and Milwaukee Admirals; financial supporters like BMO Harris Bank; and state and city leadership. 

“All of them, along with thousands of talented and tireless staff, made the Center a warm community home,” he said. “We are so grateful for that, and for 30 unforgettable seasons.”

Demolition of the Bradley Center is currently underway and is scheduled to be complete by early summer. The structure’s interior has been stripped and its exterior shell has started to come down. In January, crews blew the roof off the building using explosives.

The Milwaukee Bucks, which own the four-acre plot of land that the Bradley Center sits on, is heading the demolition project. Bucks officials say they are considering various uses and developments for the site once it is vacant. Senior vice president Alex Lasry has said it likely will be paved over and used as temporary space during the Democratic National Convention in July 2020.

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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