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After name change, future of US Cellular Arena debated

(MILWAUKEE) -- US Cellular Arena is getting a name change, and a face lift.  New seat covers, new video board, at a cost of $3-million.  But it's money that Milwaukee Common Council President Michael Murphy says we shouldn't spend, at least not yet.  He says the arena might not have a future.  \"It could be taken down, and people would say 'You just dropped $3-million on this?'  I think they would have a right to be angry,\" Murphy said.  


Why would US Cellular Arena be demolished?  Murphy knows the Milwaukee Bucks want a new arena, and if they get one, where US Cellular Arena sits could be the site. So just in case, Murphy wants to wait at least six months before spending the $3-million on upgrades to \"The Cell.\"  


Frank Gimbel, Chairman of the Wisconsin Center District, which runs US Cellular Arena and the neighboring Milwaukee Theater, says the arena isn't going anywhere.  \"I believe the building will continue to operate many years into the future,\" Gimbel said.  He says US Cellular Arena is profitable, and so is the Milwaukee Theater.  Plus the theater is carrying almost $30-million in debt.  


As far as the name change to the arena, Gimbel says he expects a new naming sponsor to be in place by this summer.  He calls UW-Milwaukee a \"possible candidate.\"

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