Bucks to donate Bradley Center amenities to local organizations

Habitat for Humanity will sell center seating and locker room fixtures at ReStore locations

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BMO Harris Bradley Center

The BMO Harris Bradley Center may be nearing the end of its 30-year life, but not everything in the building will be demolished, because the Milwaukee Bucks plan to donate a collection of the center’s equipment and materials to Milwaukee Public Schools, Habitat for Humanity and a local electrical workers union.

When the venue officially closes later this summer, the Bucks will be responsible for its demolition. That includes any item that is nailed down to the structure, said Ted Loehrke, executive vice president of strategy and development for the Bucks.

According to the BMO Harris Bradley Center, most of the building’s equipment and furniture has been sold in bulk to direct buyers, but instead of destroying or disposing of the remaining fixtures, like doors and countertops, the Bucks wanted to find a new home for them, Loehrke said.

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MPS will receive a supply of doors, door hardware and bathroom fixtures for its schools; the Milwaukee Electrical Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee will use various electrical equipment and devices to help train electricians in its apprenticeship program; and Habitat for Humanity will sell fixtures from the center’s luxury suites, locker rooms and concourse areas to fund its construction initiatives, Loehrke said.

The nonprofit plans to sell items such as countertops, cabinets and seating on Craigslist and eBay, but mainly in its three Habitat ReStore locations in Walker’s Point, Greenfield and Wauwatosa.

“The profits we get from those sales will be funneled into our mission to build affordable housing,” said Brian Sonderman, executive director of Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity. “As the Bucks move into a new home, and through their generosity that allows us to sell these items, we’ll be able to provide Milwaukee families with a place to call home for years to come, as well.”

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Loehrke estimates the total value of the donated items to be “well into the seven figures.”

“This is consistent with the impact we’ve said the project will have — an economic ripple effect,” Loehrke said. “We are happy to supply community partners that are helping to build the future of Milwaukee.”

Each group is scheduled to remove its respective items from the Bradley Center in early to mid-September, which is around the time the building will be razed, Loehrke said.

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Sonderman said a team of more than 100 Habitat for Humanity volunteers will work a total of nine days over three weeks to remove its donated materials from the center. It will be the largest deconstruction project the organization has ever completed, he said.

The Bradley Center in July will host its last ever event, which will be part of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.’s annual convention. The building will be demolished just in time for the new Bucks arena to open in September.

The Bradley Center recently held an online auction that featured more than 350 event memorabilia items, including a pink paisley Fender guitar autographed by Prince that sold for $25,000 and a black Gibson Explorer guitar signed by members of Metallica that sold for $17,600. 

Some memorabilia, as well as original building plans and other historically important artifacts and documents, will be given to the Wisconsin Historical Society and Milwaukee Public Library.

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