The BMO Harris Bradley Center will auction off sports- and music-related memorabilia it has collected over the course of its 30-year lifespan, including a pink paisley Fender Telecaster signed by Prince in 1997.
The items, which include autographed musical instruments, microphones, costumes, props, photographs and sports gear from concerts, family shows and sporting events held at the arena, will be offered for online bidding beginning Monday, June 4 at 10 a.m. at greatlakesauction.net.
The auction will close on Tuesday, June 12, with extended bidding offered on items that are in "active play" within five minutes of the auction close.
You can see previews of the items at the website now, though no bidding is yet allowed.
Here are some of the highlights:
- Autographed Metallica guitar smashed at show by Kirk Hammett in 1997
- Pink paisley Fender guitar signed by Prince in 1997
- Takamine Cutaway EN-10C guitar signed by Garth Brooks in 1996
- Martin & Co. 6-string wood acoustic guitar signed by James Taylor in 1994
- Ray-Ban sunglasses signed by Billy Joel in 1998
- Microphone signed by Cher during her Living Proof Farewell Tour in 2003
- Size 7, Riedell ice skates signed by Katarina Witt during the 1997 Stars on Ice Tour
- Skateboard signed by Tony Hawk as part of the 2003 Boom Boom Huck Jam
- Black felt cowboy hat signed by Tim McGraw in 2003
- Autographed microphones from *NSYNC’s 1999 "No Strings Attached" tour
The auction will not include any items from the Bradley Center structure, including seats. According to a press release, "The arena seats are considered part of the building structure and will be transferred with the building to the Wisconsin Center District when the Center closes permanently this summer. Most building equipment and furniture has been sold in large lots to direct buyers. Additionally, some memorabilia, along with the original building plans and other historically important artifacts and documents, will be transferred to the State Historical Society, the Milwaukee County Historical Society and the Milwaukee Public Library."
"As we come to the end of a remarkable run, it’s been amazing to look at all the memorabilia we’ve collected and relive 30 years of fantastic event memories," said Steve Costello, the Bradley Center’s president and CEO.
"This auction is a great way to share these memories with the public one last time. I encourage everyone to go online and take a look at everything there is to offer. This is your chance to own a piece of our community’s rich history."
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.