Fiserv Forum

Coordinates: 43°2′42.1″N 87°55′5.4″W / 43.045028°N 87.918167°W / 43.045028; -87.918167
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fiserv Forum
The House That Giannis Built[3]
Fiserv Forum in 2022
Fiserv Forum is located in Wisconsin
Fiserv Forum
Fiserv Forum
Location in Wisconsin
Fiserv Forum is located in the United States
Fiserv Forum
Fiserv Forum
Location in the United States
Full nameFiserv Forum Complex Center
Former namesWisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center (during construction)
Address1111 Vel R. Phillips Avenue
LocationMilwaukee, Wisconsin
Coordinates43°2′42.1″N 87°55′5.4″W / 43.045028°N 87.918167°W / 43.045028; -87.918167
Public transitMCTS
High Frequency:
GreenLine, 15, 18, 19, 80
Local Service:
31, 33, 34, 57, 81
The Hop
Future "M-Line" extension[4]
OwnerWisconsin Center District
OperatorMilwaukee Bucks
Executive suites34
Capacity17,385 (basketball)

15,178 (hockey and indoor football)

18,000 (concerts)
Record attendance18,412 (February 28, 2020)
Field size714,000 sq ft (66,300 m2)
Broke groundJune 18, 2016 (June 18, 2016)
OpenedAugust 26, 2018 (August 26, 2018)[9]
Construction costUS$1.2 billion
Eppstein Uhen Architects
Project managerICON Venue Group[5]
Structural engineerHNTB
ZS, LLC[6]
Services engineerM–E Engineers, Inc.[7]
General contractorMortenson Construction[8]
Milwaukee Bucks (NBA) (2018–present)
Marquette Golden Eagles (NCAA) (2018–present)

Fiserv Forum (stylized as (/fˈsərv ˈfɒrəm/) is a multi-purpose arena located in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is the home of the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Marquette Golden Eagles men's basketball team of Marquette University.[10][11]

Groundbreaking and construction began on June 18, 2016, and the arena received its certificate of occupancy on June 5, 2018.[12][13][14] The arena opened on August 26, 2018.[9]


Exterior view

Despite being one of the premier NBA facilities when completed in 1988, the BMO Harris Bradley Center was one of the oldest active NBA arenas by the end of the Bucks' tenancy in 2018. Only Madison Square Garden in New York City and Oakland Arena in Oakland were older than the Bradley Center; however, both Madison Square Garden and Oakland Arena were substantially renovated during their lifetimes, with Oakland Arena eventually being replaced by the new Chase Center in San Francisco for the 2019–20 season. The funds for the building of the BMO Harris Bradley Center were donated by Jane Bradley Pettit and husband Lloyd Pettit without any provision for the building's long-term capital needs or annual operating expenses. Although the facility was self-sufficient, its tenants, such as the Bucks, were at a disadvantage compared with other NBA teams because of the arrangement.[15]

Former Bucks owner and former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl proposed building a new downtown arena to replace the Bradley Center. There was considerable discussion in the region about the idea of a publicly funded arena and ultimately no resolution was reached. In 2009, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle included a provision in the state's capital budget seeking $5 million in state bonding support to renovate the Bradley Center. The Bradley Center's board of directors told state officials that the building needed $40 million in renovations, so they reportedly agreed to raise the remaining $35 million on their own.[16]

On September 18, 2013, then-deputy NBA commissioner Adam Silver toured the arena and said it was a few thousand square feet short of NBA standards, and also lacked numerous amenities.[17] On April 16, 2014, Kohl announced an agreement to sell the franchise to New York City hedge-fund investors Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens. The deal included provisions for $100 million each from Kohl and the new ownership group, for a total of $200 million, toward the construction of a new downtown arena.[18] The NBA then informed the Bucks that the franchise wouldn't be allowed to renew their lease on the Bradley Center, which would expire after the 2017-18 season, and that the team needed to have either a new arena completed or under construction by the beginning of 2018, or the franchise would be bought from Lasry and Edens, then sold to another ownership group, either in Las Vegas or Seattle, which would mean the certain departure of the Bucks from Milwaukee. On July 15, 2015, the Wisconsin Senate approved funding for the new arena by a 21–10 margin, and on July 28, 2015, the Wisconsin State Assembly approved funding by a 52-34 margin.[19] On August 12, 2015, Governor Scott Walker signed the arena spending plan at Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis, Wisconsin.[20]

The Milwaukee city council voted 12–3 on September 22, 2015, to approve the plan. The city's Plan Commission gave unanimous conditional approval to the Bucks' general development plans for land in the Park East Corridor on November 23, while acknowledging possible parking problems in the area.[21]

On April 13, 2016, the Bucks signed a 30-year lease to play in the new arena. In addition, Marquette University has agreed to lease the arena for its home games, beginning in 2018.[22] Unlike Marquette's previous agreement with the Bradley Center, the lease agreement with Fiserv ends in the spring of 2025, allowing Marquette the option to decide to pursue the building of its own smaller arena for lesser-attended match-ups, and to only utilize the Fiserv Forum for larger Big East Conference and Badgers-Golden Eagles rivalry games.[23]

The official groundbreaking was during the 2nd annual Bucks Block Party on June 18, 2016.[12][24]

On May 2, 2017, Bucks president Peter Feigin stated that construction of the arena remained on schedule and on budget. Feigin's announcement was from the site of the new arena, after the first roof truss was installed and bolted into place. The roof was officially topped off on August 24, 2017. On August 26, 2018, Fiserv Forum was officially opened in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the 4th annual Bucks Block Party. The first live event at Fiserv Forum was The Killers with Violent Femmes on September 4, 2018.[25][26]

The Bucks played their inaugural game at the Fiserv Forum during the preseason against the Chicago Bulls on October 3, 2018, a 116–82 Bucks victory.[27] The Forum's regular-season home opener was played on October 19, 2018, against the Indiana Pacers. The Bucks won, 118–101.[28] The Bucks' first season in the Forum was a great success, with the Bucks finishing the regular season with their first 60-win season since 1980–81. They also went 33–8 at the Forum, the second-best home record in the NBA. On April 14, 2019, the Forum hosted its first NBA playoff game, Game 1 of the first round between the Bucks and the Detroit Pistons. The Bucks won, 121–86.

On December 22, 2019, the Bucks had their 50th consecutive sellout at the Forum, the longest such streak in franchise history, which started on November 16, 2018.

On March 11, 2019, it was announced that the Fiserv Forum would host the 2020 Democratic National Convention from July 13 to 16, 2020.[29] It was later postponed to August 17–20, 2020, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in the United States.[30] On June 24, 2020, it was announced that the convention would be downsized and instead held at the nearby Wisconsin Center.[31]

On February 22, 2020, the Bucks set a new attendance record for the Forum, when 18,290 attended to watch the Bucks play the Philadelphia 76ers. The Bucks won 119–98. This record was broken less than a week later, on February 28, 2020, as 18,412 fans watched the Bucks face off against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Bucks won 133–86.

On July 11, 2021, Fiserv Forum hosted its first NBA Finals game, Game 3 between the Bucks and the Phoenix Suns. The Bucks won 120–100. On July 20, the Fiserv Forum also hosted Game 6 of the NBA Finals, where the Bucks would clinch their first NBA championship in 50 years, beating the Suns 105-98.

The Bucks have had substantial success at Fiserv Forum since it opened, compiling a regular season record of 87–21 (.805 winning percentage) and a postseason record of 17-4 at the Forum.

On August 5, 2022, it was announced the Forum will host the 2024 Republican National Convention, scheduled to be held on July 15 to 18, 2024.[32]

Naming rights[edit]

On July 26, 2018, the Bucks agreed to a 25-year naming rights deal with Fiserv, a financial services technology company based in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield.[33][34]

Concerts and events[edit]

Minnesota Wild vs. Chicago Blackhawks NHL preseason game at Fiserv Forum

During the Bucks' championship run in 2021, the Deer District hosted viewing parties for fans in the plaza outside Fiserv Forum. As the team got further into the playoffs and into the NBA Finals, additional viewing areas were made on the former site of the Bradley Center, as well as another open area south of the Forum. In the plaza alone, there were over 25,000 fans watching the games, and with the additional viewing areas added, the total figure of fans grew to over 65,000 for the Bucks' Finals-clinching win on July 20, 2021, though the Milwaukee Police Department estimated that the total figure of people in the vicinity of the Deer District was closer to 100,000. According to several sources, the viewing parties during the Bucks' championship run brought in over $70 million in additional revenue for local businesses in and around the Deer District.[35] On September 27, 2021, Fiserv Forum announced that the Deer District would host viewing parties as well for the playoff-bound Milwaukee Brewers.

On December 28, 2021, Fiserv Forum held its first ice hockey games with the inaugural Holiday Face–Off tournament.

On October 2, 2022, Fiserv Fourm held its first National Hockey League game, the Chicago Blackhawks played the Minnesota Wild as part of the Blackhawks "Home Away from Home" series.[36][37]

The arena also continues a Milwaukee tradition for being the site of the New Year's Eve game for the Harlem Globetrotters, with 2020 being the only pause in decades.[38]

Pride Night at Fiserv Forum is hosted by the Bucks to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. On January 2023, the annual event was hosted for the 5th time.[39]

The Killers with Violent Femmes were the first concert at Fiserv Forum on September 4, 2018.

Planning and design[edit]

The Milwaukee Bucks released the first images and details of their vision for the development of a new multi-purpose arena and sports and entertainment district to revitalize downtown Milwaukee on April 8, 2015.[40] The images depicted early conceptual drawings of a new multi-purpose venue and entertainment district that will anchor a new development vision activated by sports, entertainment, residential and office uses. The site, which primarily sits between 4th Street and 6th Street from State Street to McKinley Avenue, will seamlessly link with active development on all sides, including Old World Third Street, Schlitz Park, The Brewery, the Milwaukee riverfront, Water Street and the Wisconsin Center.

Populous and HNTB, two firms from Kansas City, lead the arena design team with participation from Milwaukee firm Eppstein Uhen Architects.[41] The arena is intended to be the focal point of a "live block" zone that includes public space surrounded by both commercial and residential development.[42] Initial renderings of the arena showed a transparent facade and a curved roof and side meant to evoke the water forms of nearby Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee River.[43] "Herb Kohl Way" was unveiled on the plaza outside of Fiserv Forum on August 26, 2018, to pay tribute to the former Bucks owner for his contributions leading up to the building of the arena.[44] The plaza is home to restaurants and a beer garden, where people can gather year-round to watch sporting events on a large, outdoor television. In May 2019, the Bucks announced Fiserv Forum is the central building in the 30-acre development district around the arena newly named "Deer District."[45] In February 2019, Johnson Controls unveiled a three-dimensional statue of their logo placed outside the Fiserv Forum, which can glow in multiple colors at night, and will specifically turn green after every Bucks victory.

The seating bowl and court inside the Fiserv Forum.
Inside Fiserv Forum

Fiserv Forum holds 17,500 people and has fewer luxury suites, but more club seating than the BMO Harris Bradley Center.[46] The arena seats 17,385 for basketball games, 15,178 for ice hockey and indoor football, and up to 18,000 for concerts.[47]

It also features a layout and equipment for an NHL/NCAA-regulation ice hockey rink and ice shows such as Disney on Ice, thus it still will be able to host the NCAA Frozen Four as the BMO Harris Bradley Center did in the past in 1993, 1997 and 2006. However, the American Hockey League's Milwaukee Admirals returned to the UW–Milwaukee Panther Arena in the 2016–17 season as they were not approached to play games in the arena. The Bucks are contractually bound not to recruit current tenants of the Panther Arena to move their events to the Fiserv Forum.[48]

Fiserv Forum has the largest symmetric scoreboard in the NBA.[49]

Further reading[edit]

  • Schumacher, Mary Louise (September 11, 2018). "Schumacher: Fiserv Forum's architecture wonderful inside, flawed outside". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved September 11, 2018. Review from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's art and architecture critic.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Radcliffe, JR (July 27, 2018). "The new Bucks arena is called Fiserv Forum, and naturally, everybody freaked out". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  2. ^ Jannene, Jeramey (September 28, 2018). "Bike to a Bucks Game". Urban Milwaukee. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  3. ^ Aschburner, Steve. "'Deer District' brings Finals excitement to the masses in Milwaukee".
  4. ^ "ayor Tom Barrett announces streetcar extensions plan". May 2, 2019. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  5. ^ "Milwaukee Bucks Arena". ICON Venue Group. Archived from the original on December 20, 2017. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  6. ^ "Milwaukee Bucks – Basketball Arena". ZS, LLC. Archived from the original on August 25, 2017. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  7. ^ "Arenas". M–E Engineers, Inc. Archived from the original on November 24, 2017. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  8. ^ Barrett, Rick (March 21, 2016). "Mortenson Construction to Build Milwaukee Bucks' New Arena". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Monroe, Nick (August 26, 2018). "Fiserv Forum Opens". NBA Media Ventures, LLC. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  10. ^ "Milwaukee Bucks President and Owner Herb Kohl Introduces New Team Ownership and Announces $125 Million Gift for Arena". NBA Media Ventures, LLC. April 16, 2014. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  11. ^ "Bucks Announce $1 Billion Arena Package". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. March 8, 2015. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Bucks Break Ground on New Multi-Purpose Arena". NBA Media Ventures, LLC. June 18, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  13. ^ ""Engine for future growth:" Milwaukee Bucks, Design Team Release Vision for New Multi-Purpose Arena". WITI. Milwaukee. April 7, 2015. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  14. ^ Nelson, James B. (June 5, 2018). "Bucks receive occupancy permit for new arena less than two years after groundbreaking". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Archived from the original on August 13, 2018. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  15. ^ Walker, Don (December 13, 2008). "Bradley Center a Home-Court Disadvantage". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
  16. ^ Walker, Don (March 26, 2009). "Doyle Budget Includes Help for Bradley Center". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
  17. ^ Kirchen, Rich (September 18, 2013). "Incoming NBA Commissioner Silver Says Bradley Center Unfit for League". Milwaukee Business Journal. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  18. ^ Walker, Don (April 17, 2014). "Kohl Sells Bucks for $590 Million; $200 Million Pledged for New Arena". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  19. ^ "Wisconsin Assembly approves Milwaukee Bucks arena funding deal; Gov. Walker says he'll sign it". WITI. Associated Press. July 28, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  20. ^ Brendan O'Brien (August 12, 2015). "Wisconsin's Walker signs NBA arena spending plan for Milwaukee". Yahoo! Sports. Reuters. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  21. ^ Posted 5:13 pm, November 23, 2015, by Theo Keith (November 23, 2015). "Plan Commission approves general Bucks arena development plans; but new parking problems arise". WITI. Retrieved July 3, 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  22. ^ Terry Sater (April 13, 2016). "Done deal: Milwaukee Bucks sign 30-year lease for arena". WISN-TV. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  23. ^ Daykin, Tom (December 14, 2018). "Marquette looked at building its own downtown basketball arena -- and leaving Milwaukee's Fiserv Forum". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  24. ^ Romell, Rick (June 18, 2016). "Arena groundbreaking brings enthusiasm for Bucks". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  25. ^ "Tickets - Kevin Hart: The Irresponsible Tour - Milwaukee, WI - Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center - September 13, 2018 19:00:00". Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  26. ^ "'The Killers' to perform at grand opening concert for new Bucks arena". WTMJ-TV Milwaukee. July 26, 2018.
  27. ^ Velazquez, Matt (October 3, 2018). "Bucks break in Fiserv Forum in style during preseason opener". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  28. ^ Velazquez, Matt (October 19, 2018). "Bucks 118, Pacers 101: The long wait ends with a victory at Fiserv Forum". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  29. ^ Verhovek, John (March 11, 2019). "Milwaukee chosen as 2020 Democratic National Convention site". ABC News. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  30. ^ Evans, Brad (April 2, 2020). "DNC Convention delayed to August due to coronavirus". WISN.
  31. ^ Epstein, Reid J. (June 24, 2020). "Democratic Convention Moves to Smaller Venue, as Delegates Are Urged to Stay Away". The New York Times. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  32. ^ Marshall, Julia (December 21, 2022). "White Official dates for Republican National Convention released". WTMJ-TV Milwaukee. Retrieved December 21, 2022.
  33. ^ "Fiserv Forum is the New Home of the Milwaukee Bucks". NBA Media Ventures, LLC. July 26, 2018. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  34. ^ Nelson, James B. (July 26, 2018). "Milwaukee Bucks and Fiserv Co. strike 25-year naming rights deal for new downtown arena". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  35. ^ Jannene, Jeramey. "Bucks Championship Had $58 Million Economic Impact". Retrieved September 28, 2021.
  36. ^ "RELEASE: 'Home Away from Home' Series in Milwaukee Sells Out in Minutes".
  38. ^ Tanzilo, Bobby (October 21, 2019). "Globetrotters return for New Year's Eve tradition and new world record attempt". Retrieved December 12, 2021.
  39. ^ "Pride Night: Milwaukee Bucks to celebrate LGBTQ+ community during Saturday's game". TMJ4 News. January 19, 2022. Retrieved January 18, 2023.
  40. ^ "Park East and designs for arena". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  41. ^ Kirchen, Rich (February 25, 2015). "Milwaukee Bucks name Eppstein Uhen, Populous, HNTB as arena design team". Milwaukee Business Journal. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  42. ^ About Mary Louise Schumacher (April 8, 2015). "Design for new Bucks arena aims to 'embrace idea of modern architecture'". Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  43. ^ "Early design of new Milwaukee Bucks arena". WISN-TV. April 8, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  44. ^ "Bucks to honor former owner Sen. Herb Kohl during Sunday's grand opening celebration". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  45. ^ Weiland, Andrew (March 30, 2019). "Bucks unveil name, website for development district". BizTimes. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  46. ^ Kirchen, Rich (April 23, 2019). "Club seats will outweigh suites at new Milwaukee Bucks arena". Milwaukee Business Journal. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  47. ^ "2021 Announcement | Holiday Face-Off". Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  48. ^ Kirchen, Rich (April 25, 2016). "Milwaukee Bucks arena will include ice rink to host NHL, NCAA games". Milwaukee Business Journal. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  49. ^ Carlton, Jimmy (February 21, 2017). "Bucks introduce NBA's largest center-hung scoreboard for new arena". OnMilwaukee. Retrieved October 21, 2017.

External links[edit]