Milwaukee Arena Posts Big Loss

The BMO Harris Bradley Center is attributing its loss of $1.9 million in the last fiscal year to an unattractive Milwaukee Bucks team, dwindling state grants and middling concert season.

Photo: AP Photo

With the news of the latest net loss, the facility is now carrying nearly $20 million in debt.

The Bucks had the worst attendance out of the 30 teams in the National Basketball Association last season and the number of concerts at the center dropped from seven compared to an average of 10 or 12 in previous years.

But Steve Costello, president and CEO of the center, is hopeful that things could turn around. He believes a reinvigorated basketball franchise and an increased number of concerts would lead to better results in the current fiscal year.

The amount of money the arena owes to banks, as well as the Bucks in the form of tenant-shared revenue, is “significant but manageable,” Costello said.

“We continue to be financially responsible,” he said.

Although resources are limited, Costello says state support will be critical to ensure the arena’s continued operation over the next several years.

The center has received help from the state in the form of two separate $5 million grants, under the administrations of Gov. Scott Walker and former Gov. Jim Doyle, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

The BMO Harris Bradley Center has reported several tough losses since opening in 1988, including a net loss of $4 million for 2008-09.