Proposed Milwaukee North Side Sports Complex Wins $5 Million Grant

An $80 million urban sports complex proposed for the north side of Milwaukee has landed a $5 million grant and named a new president.

Known as The Opportunity Center, development plans were announced in 2021.

The 300,000 square foot facility would make sports and wellness activities accessible to everyone, regardless of race, gender, age, experience level, ability or disability.

It is slated for 22 acres at 4206 N. Green Bay Ave.

Bader Philanthropies Inc. announced a $5 million grant to support the development of The Opportunity Center.

“At some level, The Opportunity Center is about bringing people together to push their physical limits,” said Daniel J. Bader, President and CEO.

“But what makes The Opportunity Center special is that it will be a place where city limits become invisible and where people are curious about each other and spark meaningful connections,” Bader said in a statement.

The project would cost between 80 and 100 million dollars and its construction should take place within three to five years.

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The center has also appointed David Cooks as group chairman and chief executive. He was previously Chairman of the Board of Directors.

According to the center, Cooks was a rising star in high school basketball in Milwaukee when he suffered a spinal aneurysm at age 15.

Cooks, a paraplegic who uses a wheelchair, has worked as a motivational speaker and educator.

He graduated from Marquette University High School and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, as well as a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Duke University.

“We’re going to supplement what kids are doing during the school year,” Cooks said.

“The Opportunity Center will serve the whole person, not just to develop athletes,” he said.

The Opportunity Center will host listening sessions for community feedback later this year and in early 2023.

Tom Daykin can be emailed at [email protected] and followed on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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