We end 2018 with a countdown of the 10 biggest stories of the year on Arena Digest, as chosen by editors and partially based on page views. Today, #2: The Milwaukee Bucks celebrate the Fiserv Forum opening.
With the only new arena opening in the 2018-2019 NBA season, the Milwaukee Bucks made headlines not only for a striking new facility, but also for providing a model on how sports development can create a financial impact.
Located in Milwaukee’s arena row—which includes UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, Miller High Life Theatre (the old Milwaukee Auditorium) and the former BMO Harris Bradley Center site—Fiserv Forum is an interesting addition to the downtown skyline, eschewing a retro look in favor of a sleek exterior designed to evoke a maritime feel. From the sides, a large curved roof embraces a glass block. From a distance, the brown curvilinear roof certainly stands out against the city’s Old World Third Street buildings and the warehouses/old breweries up through Schlitz Park and Brewery Hill. When you’re closer, the lines are replaced by the texture of the patinated zinc panels, providing for a slightly softer feel.
Inside, the arena is designed with a series of discrete spaces ranging from the Courtside Premium Club, a high-end space where patrons will find their own bar and food space, as well as a windowed view of Bucks and Marquette Golden Eagles players coming on and off the court, to the fifth-level Panorama Club (shown in the photo above) with bar-rail seating facing the arena, a huge bar, and plenty of other tables and seats for those not totally engrossed in a game. But that’s also part of the equation: the space is also open to an outside deck and features some great views of downtown Milwaukee.
The economic impact of Fiserv Forum is designed to extend past the arena turnstiles and serve as the core of a 27-acre district development. The arena is finished, but the surrounding area is not: an entertainment district is still under construction on the former BMO Harris Bradley Center site. And the Bucks ownership is pitching the arena area as being perfect for businesses to relocate corporate headquarters and operations.
Here’s our Top Ten of 2018 to date: