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Milwaukee Bucks Vying for NBA All-Star Game at New Arena

New Milwaukee Bucks arena

While their new downtown arena is still months away from opening, the Milwaukee Bucks are already pushing for it to host a future NBA All-Star Game

Currently, the new Bucks arena is expected to open at the beginning of the 2018-19 NBA season. The venue will replace the BMO Harris Bradley Center as the team’s home, and is slated to anchor a larger downtown development project.

The NBA has its All-Star Game sites set through 2021, when the event will be staged at the Indiana Pacers’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse. That would leave the Bucks with a chance to host an All-Star Game as early as 2022, and the team is targeting the 2022 or 2023 edition of the event. Some questions will have to be answered–including whether the Milwaukee region can supply enough top-tier hotel rooms for the event–but the Bucks believe that the arena’s synergy with other downtown venues will provide a major advantage. More from The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Late last month, the Bucks and local officials took the first steps to assure the NBA brass that small-market Milwaukee is capable of holding the NBA’s version of the Super Bowl. They’re making a big effort to stress a message of cooperation and show the league that they’re well-organized.

During the visit by NBA officials, local leaders emphasized that Milwaukee has successfully hosted other events that draw thousands of visitors like the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Summerfest or the Harley-Davidson anniversaries, Loehrke said.

They showed off the new arena as well as the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena and Wisconsin Center District convention space, which are important parts of the Bucks’ bid. The NBA requires cities to have a primary and secondary arena. It helps that those facilities are clustered together downtown, [Bucks’ executive vice president for strategy and development Ted] Loehrke said.

“We stressed for them how coordinated we are with the Wisconsin Center District and the UWM Panther Arena,” Bucks President Peter Feigin said. “We think it went great.

This year’s NBA All-Star Game will take place in Los Angeles, with Charlotte hosting the event in 2019, followed by Chicago in 2020, and Indianapolis in 2021. If the Bucks are able to bring the game to their new arena, it would be the first in Milwaukee since 1977.

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