FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
Evan N. Zeppos
(414) 276-6237 or (414) 491-6610
* * *
New policy, already in place at numerous venues nationwide,
to ensure a more comfortable fan experience
MILWAUKEE, Wis. – The Bradley Center today announced that it will go smoke-free effective Oct. 1 to provide a healthier and more comfortable experience for fans. Bradley Center President Steve Costello said that numerous requests from patrons prompted the decision to ban smoking in all of the center’s public areas.
“More than 1.6 million people visit the Bradley Center every year for sporting events, concerts, family shows and other activities, and their comfort and health are top priorities for us,” Costello said. “Whenever we talk with fans about what we can do to make their visit to the Bradley Center more enjoyable, adopting a smoke-free policy is at or near the top of the list. We want to be fan-friendly and family-friendly, and we believe having a smoke-free facility is part of that.”
Smoking at the Bradley Center had previously been limited to four small, designated areas on levels 200 and 400. Those smoking areas will be eliminated under the new policy, Costello said.
“Although smoking has been confined to a small area, cigarette smoke has still had a negative impact on the fan experience,” he said. “We’ve had numerous complaints – more and more every year – that cigarette smoke has trailed down the stairwells and can be detected in the seating bowl. Going smoke-free is the absolute best way to solve this problem and better serve the vast majority of our patrons.”
Under the new policy, smoking will be prohibited in all public areas of the Bradley Center. Smoking will continue to be permitted in private suites, though Costello said that most suiteholders have already chosen to follow the smoke-free guidelines. Costello added that ushers will be able to assist with directing patrons who would like to smoke to appropriate doors where they will be allowed to exit and re-enter the facility.
Numerous other sports and concert venues, including Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Gund Arena in Cleveland, the FedEx Forum in Memphis and the American Airlines Center in Dallas, are already smoke-free facilities. The Target Center in Minneapolis became the first major U.S. sports arena to adopt a building-wide no-smoking policy in 1989.
Margaret MacLeod Brahm, president and CEO of the American Lung Association of Wisconsin, praised the new Bradley Center policy.
“As more and more is learned about the serious health dangers of smoking and particularly exposure to second-hand smoke, it is encouraging to see responsible businesses like the Bradley Center take measures to protect the health and well-being of their patrons,” MacLeod Brahm said. “As Wisconsin’s largest sports and entertainment venue, the Bradley Center is setting an outstanding example for other facilities to follow.”
Costello said the Bradley Center’s three major tenants – the Milwaukee Bucks, Milwaukee Admirals and Marquette University – are aware of the new smoke-free policy and fully support it. The Bradley Center Board of Directors also backs the new policy.
“Reaction has been very positive across the board,” Costello said. “We’re looking forward to an exciting 2005-2006 Bradley Center season, now even more fan friendly as a smoke-free building.”