Lost in the shuffle of the Milwaukee Bucks new-arena groundbreaking tomorrow: A ceremony today to mark $6.3 million in renovations to UWM Panther Arena to support the move of the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals to the historic venue.
UWM Panther Arena is the old Milwaukee Arena, later known as the MECCA and U.S. Cellular Arena, which opened in 1950. It served as the home of the NCAA’s Marquette University Warriors and the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks until the Bradley Center opened in 1988, but since has picked up the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as a featured tenant. In 2000 the dormant ice system was revived and since then the arena has hosted a number of traveling ice shows. The Admirals are now a featured tenant as well after signing a 10-year lease.
Today the Admirals and Wisconsin Center District (which manages the arena) leaders held a press conference to mark the beginning of construction on Monday. The biggest part of the announcement: a new locker room for the Admirals. In addition, the arena will have a new locker room for the Milwaukee Wave indoor soccer team, which will also serve as a locker room for visiting AHL teams. The team is paying for $2 million of the $6.3 million price tag.
Other work on the arena includes:
- Commissary kitchen upgrades
- Replacement of remaining blue seats
- New LED lighting
- New WiFi access points in arena bowl
- New dasherboards with optimized acrylic
- Retractable north risers and rink side risers
- Upgrade box offices and Will Call room
- Team store expansion
- Convert police room to First Aid room
- Kitchen and concession upgrades
- Elevator refurbishments
- Concourse and restroom upgrades
- Renovation of ticket lobby and concourse floors
- Roof repairs
- Upgraded media room
“We are excited to get the renovations and improvements underway here at the Panther Arena,” said Admirals Governor and CEO Harris Turer. “The facilities that will be created for players will be NHL-caliber and combined with the intimacy and fan-friendly atmosphere of the Arena, we will have a tremendous home ice advantage.”