On the eve of the start of basketball season for the NBA and NCAA, Marc Marotta, Marquette alumnus and chairman of the Bradley Center Board, discussed the future of the Bradley Center on the television show “On the Issues with Mike Gousha,” hosted in Eckstein Hall.
Marotta was named as chairman of the building that houses the Bucks, the Admirals and the men’s basketball team in March of this year and used the hour-long show on Thursday to dispel the fears that the Bradley Center would cease to exist in the not-to-distant future.
“Nothing lasts forever, but we believe that we can make the Bradley Center last a lot longer,” Marotta said. “We think renovations are the key. We’ve seen renovations happen before in the state, with the large amount of work done to Lambeau Field, and in the NBA, most notably at Madison Square Garden in New York. So we think that is definitely the first thing we have to try in terms of having a modern stadium in the city.”
One such renovation is the new state of the art scoreboard that was installed last week.
“We’re glad we got that done,” Marotta said. “The old board was a relic, and, at times, we felt lucky if it even turned on before a game.”
The new $3.2 million scoreboard will feature 12 high-resolution screens, including three wrap-around LED marquees.
The board also installed a number of theater boxes it hopes will also help to increase revenue.
“These boxes will be worth around $62,000 and will be more appealing to smaller businesses than the larger, far more expensive luxury boxes,” Marotta said. “As you can see, we have done a little, but there is still far more we can do to generate revenue and keep the stadium modern.”
The Bradley Center is currently the third oldest arena in the NBA, having opened in 1988. Some believe that the Bucks may be interested in moving cities due to the lack of modern amenities in the arena. This deficiency is allegedly a major factor that led to the team being the lowest valued franchise in the NBA.
“Marquette doesn’t necessarily need the renovations done, but the Bucks definitely do,” Chris Lipscomb, a 1985 Marquette graduate, said. “They are the professional team. They have more home games. They are the reason you have the stadium. The Board should be working to address their revenue needs.”
However, Marquette graduate and former basketball player Roney Efrod believes that simply being subservient to the professional franchise is the wrong way to go about addressing the remodeling issued.
“It’s a tremendous facility, but you have to remember that it is not only a Bucks facility,” Efrod said. “Remodeling is important, but when you do so you must do so with all of the arena’s uses in mind. It is not only a home to the Bucks and Golden Eagles, (but) it is a hockey arena and major concert venue as well.”
Marotta, a Marquette basketball player from 1980-‘84, stressed the importance of the Bradley Center to the downtown area, stating that it is critical for Milwaukee to have the social and cultural center that a sport’s arena brings.
He also noted the benefits of having a sporting arena in a major metropolis brings for families.
“There is no bonding experience like that of being able to bring your kid to a basketball game for the first time,” Marotta said.