Milwaukee, Wisconsin: The Next Home to an NHL Franchise

Jim OxleyContributor IMarch 2, 2010

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 28:  Ryan Suter #20 of the United States passes the puck as Duncan Keith #2  and Jarome Iginla #12 of Canada close in during the ice hockey men's gold medal game between USA and Canada on day 17 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at Canada Hockey Place on February 28, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Milwaukee showed an incredible interest in the USA vs. Canada gold medal game in the Vancouver Olympics.

Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Minneapolis were the only cities with higher ratings during the gold medal game (according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ).

You'll notice those top four cities currently have NHL teams.

In 1990 Milwaukee withdrew a bid for an NHL team. Can Milwaukee host an NHL team today? Several factors contribute to the decision.

The Bradley Center

One of the main issues with the Bradley Center is its age.

Opened in 1988, it is currently the fourth oldest NBA stadium in use today, behind Madison Square Garden (renovating this year), the Oracle Arena (recently renovated), and the Izod Center (soon to be replaced).

With this old age come problems, including outdated video boards, sound/light systems, and heating/cooling/ventilation systems. The Bradley Center also lacks club seating and has poor parking availability.

When set for hockey, the Bradley Center can hold almost 18,000 fans, which is similar to other NHL franchises. The lack of club seating, however, differs from the majority of stadiums in use today.

Last year Governor Jim Doyle included a provision in the capital budget that sought $5 million to renovate the Bradley Center. The BC's board of directors estimated a need of $23 million and agreed to raise the remaining $18 million on their own.

The Bradley Center is currently home to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Marquette Golden Eagles, and the Milwaukee Admirals. Adding another team could cause many more scheduling issues, especially with the addition of a second hockey team.

The Milwaukee Admirals

The Admirals (the AHL affiliate team of the Nashville Predators) currently call Milwaukee home. Should an NHL team be added, the Admirals would likely need to move. As I said before, scheduling conflicts could become an issue.

Personally, I think an NHL team would easily be as successful in Milwaukee as in a city such as Tampa Bay, which currently is home to the Lightning.

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