A Replacement For The Bradley Center Fights The Curse Of Kareem


A Replacement For The Bradley Center Fights The Curse Of Kareem

CREATED Jan 9, 2012

For those pushing for a new arena to replace the Bradley Center, it would be nice to get a little help from the main tenants.  Unfortunately, the 2011-2012 Milwaukee Bucks don't appear to have gotten the memo.

In today's economic climate, getting taxpayers to finance - in whole or in part - a new downtown arena for basketball is probably a non-starter.  Unlike County Stadium (which was literally falling down in spots), the Bradley Center is structurally fine.  The problem with the Bradley Center is that it doesn't have a lot of the amenities that newer arenas have. In other words, there's not enough space for high-end seats and fancy clubs and other stuff that generates revenue.

Under the best of circumstances, it's tough to convince the public to underwrite the costs of a new facility for millionaire athletes. When the need for the new facility is based, in whole or in part, on pricier seats and amenities that most people could never afford to use, the task becomes harder.

Still, if the Bucks were winning, it might be an easier sell.  Unfortunately, that's not the case.

It's still early in the current NBA strike-shortened season - but if a team ever needed a strong start, it was the Bucks.  That hasn't happened though. 

At 2-6, the Bucks have one of the worst records in the NBA.  What's worse, thus far they've pretty much only played the dregs of the NBA.  I mean, if you can't beat the bottom-dwellers, what's going to happen when you start playing Miami or Chicago or Boston?  It could get ugly.

After trading Babe Ruth, the Boston Red Sox struggled for decades to overcome "the curse of the Bambino".  Maybe the Bucks are being punished for agreeing to trade Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 37 years ago  Call it "the Curse of Kareem".

I don't know whether it's even possible to make the case for a new downtown arena.  I do know that it would be an easier sell if the teams that were playing the the facility were winning on a regular basis.

For a variety of reasons, I hope this year's edition of the Bucks can turn things around.  From the perspective of generating interest for a new facility, there's really never been a more important time for the Bucks to be competitive.

It took the Red Sox almost 85 years to overcome "the curse of the Bambino".  Milwaukee can't wait another 48 years to get past "the curse of Kareem".