James Beckum, founder of the Beckum-Stapleton Little League baseball organization holds a check for $32,709 he received from the Potawatomi Bingo Casino Miracle on Canal Street charities. The grant was one of 30 the Potawatomi charities awarded. The charity raised nearly $1 million in 2012. (photo by Yvonne Kemp)
Wisconsin Center District facilities, including the Delta Center, create $355 million in annual economic impact, according to a new study.
by Stacy Vogel Davis, Reporter, The Business Journal
A new study of the Delta Center, U.S. Cellular Arena and Milwaukee Theatre in downtown Milwaukee has found the three venues generate $355 million in annual economic impact and support more than 4,000 full-time jobs in the city of Milwaukee.
Of the total, $126 million is new spending, meaning the spending wouldn’t happen if the facilities didn’t exist, according to the study by HVS Convention, Sports & Entertainment Facilities Consulting, Chicago. The new spending supports 1,400 jobs, the study found.
The Wisconsin Center District, which owns and operates the facilities, commissioned the study and released the results Friday. The Delta Center, formerly the Frontier Airlines Center, is the city’s primary convention center.
“The main purpose for the data is to reestablish the significance of the Wisconsin Center District as a major catalyst for the economy in the Milwaukee area,” said Franklyn Gimbel, district chairman.
The study found an average 98,000 people a year for the past five years stayed overnight for events at district facilities and 408,000 people visited for the day from out of town. The company used a multiplier of 50 cents in indirect and induced spending for every $1 in direct spending to estimate the economic impact, said Thomas Hazinski, managing director at HVS.
HVS also compared the study results to a study released in March 2012 of the economic impact of the BMO Harris Bradley Center, which examined the economic impact in the entire Milwaukee area, not just the city. Using those parameters, the Wisconsin Center District has an annual economic impact of $498 million, more than twice the impact of the Bradley Center, Hazinski said. That’s because most people who attend Bradley Center events live in the area and are less likely to spend money on things like hotel rooms and meals, he said.
The district could use results of the study to lobby for an expanded convention center, Gimbel said. The next step is to study the potential economic impact of an expanded convention center and compare that with the costs of expansion, he said.
“The next step is to say ‘What if?’” Gimbel said.
Most would fine it hard to image how someone can blow through $110 million in 12 years. But that is just what Antoine Walker, a former NBA champion and All-Star, did during his professional basketball career.
Though, in an interview on ESPN’s “First Take” with co-hosts Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless, Walker said that there are many misconceptions about how ex-millionaire athletes–including himself–lose their fortunes.
“Personally, I was involved in a lot of real estate projects with the banks where I was the personal guarantor of the loans,” he said. “And when the recession hit back in 2007 and 2008, the banks went really hard after the money.
“There’s probably like 7 to eight banks that we had loans with. And it kind of hit me all at once. I had to pay back the money. Everybody’s situation is different. But that’s pretty much what down-spiraled mine. Just bad real estate investments.”
When co-host Bayless asked Walker if he blamed his financial advisers for his failed real estate ventures, he took personal responsibility.
“No. I don’t blame them. I blame more so myself. I think the one thing…that is difficult to do is to do investments while playing basketball. I think if it was one thing I would tell any young guy or anyone who’s playing and making money right now is to wait until the end of your career and start investing and start making money off the field or off the court.”
He added that his time-consuming NBA schedule kept him out of the loop of what was happening with his investments.
“By me not being able to watch over everything, watch all of the moves, be on top of all of the court decisions and things like that and just playing and being unaware of so many things that were going on, it makes it very tough to manage,” he said.
Smith, the other co-host, pressed Walker to discuss other ways he lost his fortune. He replied that he lived a “lavish” lifestyle that included 10-15 hanger-ons who he took care of on a “regular basis.” Walker believes he spent several million dollars on them, including business ideas they’d propose to him.
Walker’s story is one among several in a new ESPN documentary film “Broke” that profiles professional athletes who made big money and ended up losing it all. It aired on Oct. 2 and Oct. 3 and will air again on Oct. 24. Here is the schedule.
The one-time NBA champion who was once engaged to reality TV star Evelyn Lozado during the height of his career, had to sell his NBA championship ring he won with the Miami Heat back in 2006 to help settle his debts, according to TMZ.
Walker ended his career playing in the NBA’s Development League with the Idaho Stampede. He was reportedly waived by the team back in March.