By Drew Olson Special to Published Jan 21, 2008 at 6:18 AM

It might not have the economic or emotional impact of losing a major brewery, a pro sports franchise or hundreds of manufacturing jobs, but the Milwaukee area is on the brink of losing a prestigious asset and most of the public isn't aware.

The United States Bowling Congress, which has its headquarters in Greendale, took a step closer to leaving town on Sunday. The USBC board of directors gave approval for the organization to start negotiations to relocate the headquarters to Arlington, Texas.

According to a press release, the decision is contingent on negotiations for buildings and land near the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America Complex, which is in Arlington.

"After carefully considering the facts, including taking into account the long history of USBC and its predecessors in the Milwaukee area, the Board came to the conclusion that it was in USBC's best business interests to join with BPAA in Arlington creating an international bowling campus," USBC president Jeff Bojé said in the release.

USBC Headquarters will move to Arlington unless there is a breakdown in the negotiations relating to the property. If all details can be worked out, USBC is expected to move its headquarters operations within a year. In addition to office space for approximately 235 overall employees, the new complex would include a combined equipment testing and international training center.

"The property we are looking at is in a very high profile area that we believe will help enhance the visibility of the sport of bowling," Bojé said. "In addition to being close to Six Flags, the Texas Rangers baseball stadium and new Dallas Cowboys football stadium are close by. There also are a number of other entertainment venues in the vicinity.

"With USBC and BPAA under the same roof, there's an untold number of ways we can work together to help grow the sport," Bojé said. "There already are a number of joint programs that we work together on and this proposal would allow us to do so even more."

Bowling might not be as popular in these parts as it was a generation or two ago, but losing the national headquarters would be a loss for the area.

Will there be a grassroots movement to prevent the move?

Probably not.

A lot of people probably didn't know USBC headquarters was located near Southridge Mall.

But, that doesn't make it easier to see it go.

Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.