The closing of Center Court led my colleague Eugene Kane to ruminate as to why no restaurant or bar can seem to stick at what seems to be a prime location.
It’s a good question, but one of the prime reasons that location isn’t as desirable – and one of the reasons the Bucks can’t fill the BMO Harris Bradley Center – is the parking situation around the stadium.
Take Wednesday night for example.
The Bucks were .500 and losers of four straight heading into a game against the Philadelphia 76ers, a losing team. Yet any parking lot or garage near the arena was charging $20. Um, no.
I arrived before the meters become free at 6 p.m. hoping to catch some of the day’s workforce leaving. So I circled and circled the venue for a while before finding what I thought was good spot. It was 5:45 p.m. so I dropped in 20 minutes worth of change into the meter and figured I was good to go – only to return after the game to see I had a parking ticket. Wha?
Well, apparently the one block I was on had a different meter restriction than you know, all the other blocks around the stadium.
This is why a place like Center Court closes. This is why the BMO Harris Bradley Center won’t sell out for mundane NBA games. I’m not saying parking has to be free or even have the same rates. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have to walk a few blocks to get to a game.
I’m saying the meters need to have uniform time restrictions around the stadium – or at least give those parking there a break on game nights – and the lots and garages nearby need to be a little more realistic in their pricing.
Eugene is mostly right when he says the success of an establishment is about location, location, location – but increasingly the deciding factor is parking, parking, parking.
This author's mindset holds Milwaukee back. Really, complaining about parking around the BC?! It could not be easier. If you're too cheap to open your wallet for a garage, try walking from one of the many easy to find free parking areas around town. Or try biking, taking the bus, or staying home.
This cannot be a serious article? Free parking downtown after 6pm plus all the other lots that charge way less than $20. Let's say you wanted to park right across the Arena for $20, who goes to the game alone? chance are there are 2-4 people in the car well $20/2/4 is $10 and $5. Parking is not the reason! Winning is the reason! You win you sellout you don't win you don't sell out. BTW as someone who goes to a lot of Bucks games a cab from anywhere downtown will cost $5-10 and even outside of downtown say 1st & National will only cost around $10 bucks. I have never heard of Parking as a reason people don't come to games, cost of ticket yes but you can't say that anymore since you can find a Bucks ticket for $5-15 easily on the secondary market via stubhub, ticketking or the NBA resale site or even one of the many guys selling tickets outside which is a great way to get great seats on the cheap. Seeing a game in Milwaukee is easier and cheaper than any NBA city, by far!
The reason the Bucks do not draw fans is because in the 25 or so years that Herb Kohl has run the team, they have gotten past the first round of the playoff 2 times and one was way back in 1988. The standard for a NBA being really good is 50 wins. The Bucks have done that once in Kohl's tenure.
Now I know as an OMC sports writer, you are limited to writing puff pieces about the local sports team. I know you may also be too young to remember the 2001 Bucks as well. But in 2001, when the Bucks had a very good team, tickets were not easy to get. The BC was at or near capacity every single night. There was an energy to the place. The playoff games, especially against the Hornets and 76ers, were probably as loud as any Milwaukee sports event I've been to and on par with the energy the Brewers playoff run created.
Places like the Center Court do not survive because they aren't unique enough to draw anyone if the BC doesn't have an event.
On a busy night, I find parking around Mayfair harder than anything downtown.
Show me the other 3 Talkbacks
8 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jim Owczarski
Published April 27, 2015
Tyler Thornburg has been pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers since 2012, but last year was to be his first as a full-time reliever. He started well, but was then lost for the year with an elbow injury. He is back and healthy at the start of 2015 and hopes to prove, again, that he belongs in the majors.
Published April 23, 2015
Some many call him a question mark in the Milwaukee Brewers lineup, but Khris Davis was feeling confident about himself and the team as the 2015 campaign got underway.
Published April 21, 2015
As the Milwaukee Bucks attempt to lock up a playoff berth in the final few games of the year, second-year forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is proving to many that he can be a force to be reckoned with. You see the action on the court, now, but it was the lonely hours in the gym before his family arrived from Greece last year that laid the foundation.
Published April 17, 2015
It was one year ago today that former Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl introduced Wes Edens and Marc Lasry to the city of Milwaukee as the new owners of the Bucks franchise. The pair would not, formally, be considered the owners by the league for a few weeks yet - but the press conference on April 16, 2014 signaled the start of a new era. A lot has happened in 365 days. Read on for some of the big moments.
Published April 15, 2015
Jabari Parker hasn't played a game for the Milwaukee Bucks since Dec. 15, 2014, and he may not play another one until that date later this year. Or maybe slightly before. Or after. It's the great on-court unknown for the franchise. But what if he didn't get hurt? It's possible that his injury affected more than just the team - it could've swayed public sentiment regarding the arena.
Published April 13, 2015
As the spotlight widens on the ownership of the Milwaukee Bucks and politicians around the state regarding the construction of a new Downtown arena, the Milwaukee Admirals have been left in the shadows. As of now, there are no plans to have the Admirals as a part of the new multi-purpose arena.
Published April 10, 2015
OnMilwaukee.com Sports Editor Jim Owczarski is taking off on a new adventure, leaving the Cream City after over three years. It's been fun, very memorable, and full of fun people, places, drinks and food. On his way out, he shares with you some of his favorites in all of those categories.
Published April 9, 2015
Believe it or not, we are now closer to a decade removed from Tiger Woods' last major championship than we are to his last run of sustained dominance in the game. The greats, always, lose their edge and become shadows of what they were. But Woods' decline was so sudden, the game hasn't quite yet recovered.
Published April 8, 2015
The Milwaukee Bucks aim to create a true urban plan around its new Downtown arena, and the billion dollar concept could have far reaching effects. Read on to see how some in the community feel about the project.
Published April 8, 2015
The ownership of the Milwaukee Bucks officially unveiled the images and the plans for not only a new arena, but for an entertainment district just north of the BMO Harris Bradley Center.