Though the game resulted in a loss. the Milwaukee Bucks‘ Return to the MECCA proved to be a good event for those in attendance.
As part of the celebration of their 50th anniversary, the Bucks played a game Thursday night at the former MECCA. Now known as UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, the venue was home to the Bucks beginning in 1968, up until their move into what is now known as the BMO Harris Bradley Center in 1988.
Thursday’s matchup against the Boston Celtics resulted in defeat for the Bucks, with the Celtics prevailing by a final of 96-89. However, the one-time game--which included the use of a replica of the famed Robert Indiana-designed MECCA court–was a positive experience for fans and team executives alike. More from The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Jason Floyd of Milwaukee and his fiancée, Stephanie Reitemeier, also of Milwaukee, were decked out in retro No. 33 and No. 1 jerseys, respectively. Kareem and Oscar. If you had to ask, you aren’t much of a Bucks fan.
“I don’t really remember (the MECCA); I was a young kid,” Floyd said. “But just the energy in the building and seeing the old court is cool. Reliving some of the history is great.”
John Steinmiller, the Bucks’ executive vice president of operations, joined the organization in 1970, when he was still a student at Marquette University. He spent countless hours in the Arena, later the MECCA and now the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.
“This was a great building to play in,” Steinmiller said. “It was a good place to win – and we won formidably.”
There is a considerable emphasis on the future when it comes to the Bucks, particularly as construction of a new downtown Milwaukee moves toward completion for the 2018-19 season. Yet, Thursday night’s burst of nostalgia proved to be a positive for the franchise.
Rendering courtesy Milwaukee Bucks.