Bradley Center Forum Answers Lots Of Questions, Except One

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Marquette University and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel hosted a forum Monday to explore all possible angles to the question of what to do with the aging BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Full disclosure: I'm a huge sucker for panels of experts engaged in reasoned, productive, and well-informed debate. They act as intellectual Xanax to the anxiety disorder that is simplified Internet opinion.

And when it involves the Milwaukee Bucks and the local economy in which I reside? All the better.

Yesterday's Marquette University and Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel-sponsored forum, entitled "A New Milwaukee Sports and Entertainment Arena? Divining the Benefits and Dividing the Costs," featured an all-star cast of experts capable of answering every question anyone could possibly have about the viability of building a new arena in downtown Milwaukee.

Well, every question except, "Is Milwaukee getting a new arena?"

From state politican (Robin Vos), to county executive (Chris Abele), to BMO Harris Bradley Center chairman (Marc Marotta, whom I interviewed last year), to sports economist (Andrew Zimbalist), to business leaders (Tim Sheehy of MMAC, Roy Williams of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber), to journalists (David Boardman, executive editor of the Seattle Times), opinions differed greatly on how to solve the current problems facing the sustainable existence of the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

However, there was one common theme that percolated into each presenter's speech: Regardless of what was discussed, it was only a starting point in what is sure to be a marathon of public forums, guest columns, and Journal-Sentinel comment fights. That's perfectly understandable; any decision (likely) involving public money deserves public input, and it's encouraging to know that, regardless of what happens, we're proactively engaged in these discussions far earlier than necessary.

The conference is currently streamable, and I would personally recommend Williams' presentation on Oklahoma City's rebirth as a destination city, especially if you want to see the model Milwaukee as a whole is attempting to replicate. But if you don't have seven hours to kill, Don Walker at the Journal-Sentinel had a great running blog of the event. I've also included a few choice tweets below (in chronological order, of course).

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