By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Mar 11, 2008 at 8:46 AM

Milwaukee took another step toward shedding its "beer, bowling and bratwurst" image today, but the development can hardly be seen as a positive.

The United States Bowling Congress Board of Directors has given approval for the organization, based in Greendale, to move its headquarters to Arlington, Texas, the home of the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America.

The decision was made during a weekend meeting in Atlanta, where officials from Arlington and Milwaukee presented cases for their cities.

"This is a great day for bowling. Relocating to Arlington would allow for the creation of an international bowling campus. We can set the foundation for tremendous growth and opportunities for decades to come," said USBC President Jeff Bojé.

"Both cities made excellent presentations and either would have been good locations for USBC. The Board decided Arlington would be the best location should the USBC receive approval of investment from the Texas Enterprise Fund."

Contingent upon TEF approval, USBC Headquarters is expected to move to Arlington later this year. In addition to office space for about 200 overall employees, the new complex will include a 12-to-16-lane combined equipment testing and international training center to form a $14 million international bowling campus. BPAA has pledged to pay for half of the complex while utilizing less than one-fifth of the space.

The property is located at 621 Six Flags Dr., across the street from Six Flags Over Texas in the heart of Arlington's entertainment and sports district. It is about three blocks east of Rangers' Ballpark in Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers baseball team, and about six blocks east of the new Dallas Cowboys stadium set to open in 2009.

The creation of an international bowling campus at such a high profile location will provide the opportunity to showcase bowling to the world that doesn't exist at the present location.

An additional factor for the Board's decision was ease of travel. As one of the world's largest airports, Dallas/Fort Worth International makes it much easier for those traveling to and from the international bowling campus, especially those traveling internationally.