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.
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