BMO Harris Needs Repairs

Milwaukee officials are considering how to cover repairs and maintenance on the aging  that recently celebrated its 26th year.

The venue, which is owned by the state, reportedly needs $25 million to $35 million in repairs, and some are wondering whether it might be time to consider construction of a new building. Arena President Steve Costello told the local Journal Sentinel uncertainty about the venue’s future has led to investing “sparingly in capital repair and maintenance of core building infrastructure and systems.”

“The accumulated and still growing capital repair and maintenance needs fall within a range of key building infrastructure and systems – ranging from the structure and grounds themselves to maintenance, electrical, plumbing, life safety, technology and other key and basic functions that must be addressed simply to keep the building open for the short term,” he said.

Specifically, the arena needs $5 million to repair leaks in its granite façade and atriums, around $6 million to update to mechanical systems, $7 million for staging and floor improvements, and around $14 million for technology, seating and food and beverage improvements, the paper noted. Funding the repairs through grants, ticket fees and parking services has been slow going but the alternative – a new venue that could reportedly cost from $400 million to $500 million – hasn’t been completely embraced by the community.

Ted Kellner, a minority owner in the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks that play at the center, is pushing for a new arena and touted the development that would occur around the site to the Journal Sentinel.

“This is not just about the Bucks,” Kellner said. “The arena has to be a catalyst. It is about development and jobs and moving the city forward.”