The Bradley Center is not one of the spanking new arenas, yet incorporates many design
features which are the norm today yet were cutting edge back in the 80s - multi concourses
which are super wide, beautiful entry atriums on either side, food courts and separate
suite levels.

What immediately endeared us to Milwaukee was the striking resemblance that this city has
to our own Buffalo - the skylines are similar; the city sits right along the lake, and you can
get a definite feel of the ethnicity of the neighborhoods - particularly the German and Irish
presence. One eventually gets the sense that the people here are very much like Buffalo
people - gritty, hard working, blue collar types who know the meaning of a good days work
and who are friendly and neighborly. We knew we would like it here and we were not
disappointed.

The Bradley Center is right downtown, and is the centerpiece of a bustling and diverse
neighborhood which includes hotels, German bistros, sports bars and restaurants. Right
next door is the older US Cellular Arena still open for smaller scale events. (That arena is
better known as "The Mecca" back in the old days when guys like Robertson and Jabbar
brought this city its greatest NBA moment). The Bradley Center is also home to the
Milwaukee Bucks, Marquette University basketball, as well the minor league IHL Admirals,
the NPSL Wave and the AFL Mustangs.

A three sided marquee sits outside on the corner of a large public plaza - two sides have
dot matrix boards and the third is a video board. Once you enter the building you walk into
a large entry pavilion with high ceilings and dramatic views of the outside. The pavilion is
smartly decorated with balloon arches in Bucks colors, high tech video boards hanging
high above, and colorful banners as well as decorative planters with bright foliage.  A
grand staircase and escalators take you to the concourse levels. Although this atrium is
nowhere near as large as our own at HSBC Arena, it is a very warm and appealing public
space. As we entered the building, we were serenaded by a full orchestra playing oldies
and swing tunes.

The bowl
The seating bowl is laid out in three levels -lower, suite and upper, each with its own
concourse. A four sided jumbotron board is in the center, and two huge video board hang
from the rafters at each end zone. There are dot matrix information boards along the
balcony, along with stationary back lit ad panels. The ad panels on the center scoreboard
are changable, and one cool and unique thing that we noticed...  there were four ad panels
above the scoreboard shaped like a CAN. The ads scrolled various Pepsi and Miller
products.

Banners/retired numbers
The Bucks herald their one NBA championship and then list 7 retired numbers on one
banner. Marquette's centerpiece other than its titles is the one banner honoring the great
Al McGuire.

Concessions
If you like beer, skip the regular stuff and try the local brew -Leinenkugel Red, available on
tap at all the concessions. This is Milwaukee, the beer capital, and sampling their great
brews is an absolute must! There is no team store, but there are several huge merchandise
kiosks on each level with ample counter and display space.

Things that caught our eye-
"Don't wave - Dance!". The Dance Cam exhorts people to do their shtick on camera and for
the most part the fans obliged.

The cheerleaders, male and female, manned the exits as the fans departed and thanked
people for coming and wished them a good trip home. THAT is being fan friendly!

Again we mention a dramatic outdoor marquee as a great suggestion for the outside of
HSBC Arena.

Summary
The Milwaukee Bucks are coming around.. the team is playing well for the first time in many
years and might make some noise in the playoffs, and this city is getting excited. Also,
MILLER PARK, Milwaukee's beautiful new retractable roof stadium, is slated to open in April
after a year's delay. We checked the place out during our visit and this is going to be one
terrific baseball experience! So basically Milwaukee is one great place to be right now if
you are a sports fan. Of course, WE will be back this summer to visit the ballpark, enjoy
some sizzling bratwursts and cold beers and enjoy an evening of Brewers baseball in one
of MLB's hottest new venues. We can't wait!

Scoring:
Architecture 5
Food and team store 6
Scoreboard and electronics 5
Ushers 7
Fan support 5
Location and neighborhood 9
Banners and history 7
In game entertainment 6
Concourses/fan comfort 6
Bonus: 2 for swing band in lobby; 2 for Milwaukee's ethnic diversity
Total: 60
BMO Harris Bradley Center
#68



Bradley
Center    



Milwaukee,
Wisconsin   



February 19,
2001




San Antonio
Spurs
at Milwaukee
Bucks