For a city the size of Milwaukee there are a lot of spectator sports that keep our plates full year-round.
We have three major teams, the Packers, Bucks and Brewers. We have hockey and soccer, even though the Admirals and Wave are minor league teams.
There are people who say that the sports entertainment dollar can’t be spread any thinner, and there may be some truth to that.
But today we are not talking about economics. We are talking about the ideal world, and there are things we are missing.
Here are the five top sports events that we need in Milwaukee.
Pro tennis – It’s a great spectator sport. You can see all the action taking place on the court and it’s full of personalities. The question is whether it would be better to have the men’s ATP tour make a stop of a women’s WTA come to Milwaukee. We have the facilities at the Town Club in Fox Point that has a long history of hosting big time tennis tournaments. The club has been the site of some exciting matches and tournaments in its 60 years.
Pro golf – We used to have a professional golf tournament. It has gone by various sponsor names but it will always been known as the Greater Milwaukee Open. The PGA tournament started in 1968 and ended in 2009 when U. S. Bank dropped its sponsorship and nobody else stepped up. But the thousands of golf fans in Milwaukee as well as some well-heeled sponsor could easily step up for more professional golf, even though the PGA isn’t coming, no matter what. Milwaukee could use a Champions Tour event or an LPGA tournament. Brown Deer, the site of the PGA event would be a perfect spot for either one of these tours. And a sponsoring company like Johnson Controls or Kohl’s or Northwestern Mutual or Manpower could easily step up and bring golf back.
Soccer – I’m kind of torn on this one. For decades we have been told that once all these little kids who are playing soccer grow up it will be a big spectator sport in Milwaukee. Well, they have grown up and the issue of whether or not they will support a professional team is still uncertain. But the MLS has just 19 teams in two conferences and it seems like the time might be right for Milwaukee to take the leap and get a franchise. I think this is a single owner or ownership group thing rather than a corporate sponsorship thing.
Women’s basketball – I never, ever thought I would say this. But the WNBA is a style of basketball that you can really get into. For example, Diana Taurasi, who played with the Phoenix Mercury , is one of the most exciting basketball players I’ve ever seen. Plus, the WNBA schedule is a perfect fit for a Milwaukee summer. Think about building a facility that could host professional soccer and professional women’s basketball. Locate it at the lakefront with a retractable roof. Imagine watching a basketball game, under the stars at the lakefront. Cool, huh?
Car racing – We have car racing, after a fashion, The State Fair Board has never been able to get its act together and make a serious attempt at a solid and exciting racing program during the summer. Every driver who tries the Milwaukee Mile track says nothing but great things about it. It’s one of the few short ovals left in the world and if the board could give up some of its control and hire someone who really knew what they were doing, we could have big time racing here all summer long. Indy Fest, of course, is back but let's get more.
With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.
He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.
This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as OnMilwaukee.com keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.
Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.