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The BMO Harris Bradley Center needs replacing.
The BMO Harris Bradley Center needs replacing.
Can we get a new vision for the Shops of Grand Avenue?
Can we get a new vision for the Shops of Grand Avenue?

A Milwaukee list for Santa

As we prepare to discard the calendar of a tumultuous and often nasty 2012 in Wisconsin, it's time to launch into 2013 with a clean slate and try to begin the year with no grudges and a spirit of compromise.

Wait. What? Oh, right. Anyway, here's one man's Milwaukee wish list for Santa.

  • Milwaukee needs a politically feasible plan to finance a new arena to replace the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
  • Now that his U.S. Senate career is over, Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl needs to find a successor who will keep the team in the city.
  • The City of Milwaukee needs a new vision for The Shops of Grand Avenue.
  • Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke and Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn need a truce.
  • Milwaukee County should sell its land in the Park East Freeway corridor to the City of Milwaukee, so it can be redeveloped.
  • General Mitchell International Airport needs another airline to enter the market.
  • The Italian Community Center in Milwaukee needs to find a developer willing to build a boutique hotel on its property across from the Summerfest grounds. Such a hotel would be a terrific asset for each of the summer festivals and would be tremendously useful for the empty nesters living in Third Ward condominiums when they have extended family get-togethers.
  • Milwaukee County needs to install automatic stop sticks that would be activated when cars enter the wrong way on freeway exit ramps.
  • Harley-Davidson Inc. needs to select Bob Seger to perform at its 110th anniversary celebration over Labor Day weekend in 2013.
  • Oak Creek needs to keep the bar raised high for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to redevelop the former Delphi site. Don't succumb to pressure to develop less ambitious retail big boxes. For starters, it would be great if restaurateurs Omar Shaikh and Joe Bartolotta opened up-scale eateries in the O.C.
  • Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin needs a completely new bullpen.
  • The state legislature needs to do the right thing and fulfill the state's commitment to buy the shiny new trains that are now just sitting idle in Talgo Inc.'s Milwaukee warehouse. The Milwaukee-to-Chicago Amtrak route is seeing record traffic, and the current trains are dirty, aged and disgusting. The state ordered the trains. So, buy them already and avoid the lawsuit.

I'd like to close 2012 with one more suggestion. How about forming a Wisconsin Collegiate Basketball Classic? Here's how ...

You put the University of Wisconsin Badgers, the Marquette University Golden Eagles, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix men's basketball teams in one weekend tournament. They would play two games on Friday night. The losers would play in a consolation game, followed by the winners in a championship game on the following night. Each of the schools would be asked to secure a marquis corporate sponsor in advance.

So, you'd end up with four corporate sponsors. Imagine the alumni in the room sporting their colors and talking smack. Imagine the buzz (no pun intended, Coach Williams).

The tournament would alternate each year between Milwaukee and Madison. It would be a great way to market this state as a basketball hotbed, and the four schools could split the revenue.

I'd much rather see such a tournament than watch any of the schools beating up on the likes of Savannah State or Southeastern Louisiana, wouldn't you? And while we're at it, the schools could bring their women's teams for a round-robin tournament of their own.

Finally, here's wishing all of our readers a peaceful and prosperous 2013.


benjamint | Dec. 19, 2012 at 5:07 p.m. (report)

I think the basketball tourney is an awesome idea. But I believe that since UWM and GB are in the same conference, they are not allowed to play in the same tournaments together, unless it is the conference or league championships. But if it was just a doubleheader for both the mens and womens teams, it would still be a great way to start a friendly rivalry amongst the in state teams. And also likely draw a large crowd.

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