The Business Journal
by Todd Bragstad, Managing Editor
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
As with most events surrounding sports, there were a lot of numbers thrown around at Tuesday’s Milwaukee Bucks Preview Luncheon at the InterContinental Milwaukee.
Besides the usual discussion of wins and losses and players’ height, luncheon attendees were reminded that it is the 28th season of ownership under U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl. And perhaps an even more impressive number tossed out to the crowd was this will be the Bucks’ 45th NBA season.
For those of us old enough to remember our town without an NBA franchise — and who’ve watched franchises in other cities pack up and leave — that’s quite a feat.
That’s why it’s always great to see the enthusiasm that comes with this annual kick-off event, from the fans and business representatives in the audience, to the Bucks front office and, of course, the players. The luncheon, sponsored by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce and attended by about 350 guests, came on the heels of last week’s announcement that the BMO Harris Bradley Center reached an agreement with the Bucks on a six-year lease extension.
In addition, area businesses stepped up and provided the Bradley Center with more than $18 million in sponsorships and other support through MMAC’s Champions of the Community effort. Major companies that came forth and bought naming rights to the arena’s four main entrances were Kohl’s Department Stores, MillerCoors’ Miller Lite brand, Northwestern Mutual and Potawatomi Bingo Casino.
As announcer Jim Paschke told the luncheon crowd, “The bottom line is the building has new life and we thank those responsible for it.”
As always, the event was heavily attended by Milwaukee-area business executives, including Steve Costello, Bradley Center president; Paul Sweeney of private equity firm PS Capital; Ed Brandon, CEO of the Milwaukee County Council of Boy Scouts of America; and Gail Lione, a former Harley-Davidson executive and a Bradley Center board member.
The Bucks will start regular season play this Friday on the road against the Boston Celtics, then play their home opener Saturday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Check out the attached slideshow to see photos of the event.