Friday, May 30, 2008
Commissioner Stern says Bradley Center OK, For Now.....
NBA commissioner David Stern said Thursday that the Bradley Center will suffice for now as the home of the Milwaukee Bucks, but the community will have to consider a new arena some day. The building is one of the oldest NBA arenas in use.
"Everybody agrees that this is not the revenue producing arena of the future that will enable the Bucks to compete in the future NBA. But based on good faith on both sides and the attempt to deal with the problem on an ad hoc basis, they seem to be doing OK. The crunch hasn't quite hit yet. But everybody knows this is a building that will ultimately need to be replaced."
"I think down the road given the shape of the bowl and constriction of the site . . . that eventually the citizens of Milwaukee will be facing the issue of a replacement for the Bradley Center," Stern said. "But why rush it? It's a good dialogue to have, a good discussion to have. The negotiations between the Bucks and the Bradley Center will have to reflect on the need to squeeze additional dollars out of this facility. But the Bucks are well managed, and for a period of time, this arena will do. And the planning process will obviously have to begin."
The Bucks have a lease through Sept. 30. Both the Bucks and members of the Bradley Center board have had preliminary discussions on a new lease.
Stern did not offer a specific proposal for how Milwaukee might consider a new arena, or the more controversial question of how to pay for it. Stern admitted as much in his opinion piece, acknowledging that taxpayers do not want new taxes to pay for arenas.
"Every city has its own needs and desires and abilities," Stern said. "You know, I'm not as imaginative as some of the financial wizards are. . . . I don't want to impose my view upon an issue that is not yet a problem."