The nationally-televised finals of the United States Bowling Congress Masters will move from one famed Milwaukee sports facility to another for 2005.
USBC officials announced that the Masters, a major on the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour, will be conducted Nov. 15-20 with the U.S. Cellular Arena in downtown Milwaukee serving as the site of the finals Nov 20.
The announcement was made today during a press conference at USBC's Equipment Specifications and Certification facility in Greendale, Wis. In addition to representatives from USBC, PBA and the U.S. Cellular Arena, defending Masters champion Danny Wiseman was on hand performing a bowling exhibition against USBC's precision automatic ball thrower, "Harry."
"The United States Bowling Congress Masters showcases the best bowlers in the world," said USBC Chief Executive Officer Roger Dalkin. "As a major on the PBA Tour, and with the U.S. Cellular Arena as the backdrop for the finals, we will once again bring a first-class sporting event to Milwaukee."
Last October the Masters finals were conducted in Miller Park which was the first time that a televised final had been conducted in a Major League Baseball stadium.
The Masters attracts more than 550 of the world's top PBA professionals and amateur bowlers who compete for a prize fund expected to reach $400,000. In addition to Wiseman, other top players competing include former Masters champions Walter Ray Williams Jr., Norm Duke, Parker Bohn III and Mika Koivuniemi along with other stars looking for their first Masters title such as Pete Weber, Chris Barnes and Patrick Allen.
"We are very excited about returning to Milwaukee and working with the USBC for this season's Masters," said PBA Tour Commissioner Fred Schreyer. "Last season's event was a huge success that generated a lot of momentum for our season. We look forward to this season's event with the finals at U.S. Cellular Arena having the same effect."
Qualifying and match play rounds for the Masters will again be conducted at AMF Bowlero Lanes in Wauwatosa Nov. 15-18. Pro-ams will be conducted Nov. 19.
The Arena is no stranger to hosting bowling events. In 1952 the second Masters was conducted in the U.S. Cellular Arena (then called the Milwaukee Arena) as part of the American Bowling Congress Championships Tournament. Relative unknown Willard Taylor of Charleston, W.Va., won the event. The Arena also hosted the 1971 Federation Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ) World Bowling Championships.
The U.S. Cellular Arena currently is the home venue for University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers basketball and Milwaukee Wave indoor soccer. It formerly was the home site for the Milwaukee Bucks and Marquette University basketball teams.
About the PBA
The Professional Bowlers Association features the best bowlers in the world competing in National, Regional and Senior Tour events for a total prize fund of more than $9 million. The 2004-05 PBA Tour season marked the league's most successful season since the PBA was purchased in 2000. Average households and viewers on the PBA Tour on ESPN telecasts rose by 12 percent from the previous season. PBA sponsors include Miller High Life, Miller High Life Lite, Pepsi, BowlersParadise.com, Motel 6, Denny's, Dexter Footwear, Jackson Hewitt, Baby Ruth, Brunswick and the USBC. For more information on the PBA, log on to www.pba.com