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The Bucks released early renderings of the upcoming Bucks arena Thursday. Mayor Tom Barrett reportedly called the new design "fresh." I think it's kind of dated-looking, '70s-ish, and, well, just a bit odd.
The wavelike zinc roof lacks the simple elegance of, say, the Calatrava, but it’s really the wood look I’m not loving. People compare the Calatrava to a sleek heron or some other majestic bird. On the other hand, they’re already comparing the new arena to ... a beer barrel. The design actually – and intentionally – evokes rust, as the roof is said to be a "brown-rust patina." Just the metaphor we need!
It’s like the Blue Shirt of arenas, playing into all the old clichés we’re trying to get past.
Maybe they should make it white to continue with the Calatrava/Discovery World theme instead. We’ve got something good going on there, so why stop? The potential wave concept is admittedly kind of cool.
But what else does it look like? After all, the new arena is a bit of a Rorschach blot, with some responses turning out a bit brutal. One reader said it resembled the "hole in the UW system’s budget." Another:
Here are the 12 best responses, some of them from readers on social media. Leave your own responses in the comments!
1. It's Donald Trump's combover
It's not orange, but now that you say it ...
2. It's BelAir Cantina
People soon noticed the Mexican restaurant has a similar wavelike roof. The restaurant’s owners aren’t upset, though. They told the media they "love the new design." No kidding!
(PHOTO: Bel Air Cantina)
3. It’s a tipped-over beer barrel
Can’t we get rid of this cliché already? At least it doesn’t look like a bowling alley. Well, on second thought ...
4. It's a wave alright ...
And thanks to the deep tunnel and the you-know-what in the lake, it’s a brown wave. Thank a reader for this gem. Sorry, I know it will be hard to un-think that analogy.
5. It's the old Milwaukee Art Museum
The new training center looks like a varnished and rearranged version of the old Milwaukee Art Museum. After all, both have that brown formica '70s boxy look. In some renderings, the analogy is even more striking.
6. It's the KFC Yum! Center
(PHOTO: WikiCommons/local louisville and Ytoyoda)
Now that I look up that one, home of the University of Louisville basketball team, it could definitely be worse. At least we don’t have a giant "Yum!" emblazoned on ours.
7. It's a toboggan
8. It's a sauna
9. It's a very large pastrami on rye
Another guy looked at it and saw a gyro.
10. It's an Ikea nightstand
Hmmm … inspired thinking.
(PHOTO: Flickr/Stevan Sheets)
11. It's Fred Flintstone's car
12. It's a bench inside a Starbucks
Well that's just ridiculous – actually, forget the bench. It looks like a Starbucks, period.
(PHOTO: Starbucks Facebook)
You could also say it looks like a log, a folded-up newspaper, a taco or, as one Facebook commenter noted, a giant burger stand. No matter the case, be thankful. At least it's not a big orange asterisk.
Jessica McBride spent a decade as an investigative, crime, and general assignment reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and is a former City Hall reporter/current columnist for the Waukesha Freeman.
She is the recipient of national and state journalism awards in topics that include short feature writing, investigative journalism, spot news reporting, magazine writing, blogging, web journalism, column writing, and background/interpretive reporting. McBride, a senior journalism lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, has taught journalism courses since 2000.
Her journalistic and opinion work has also appeared in broadcast, newspaper, magazine, and online formats, including Patch.com, Milwaukee Magazine, Wisconsin Public Radio, El Conquistador Latino newspaper, Investigation Discovery Channel, History Channel, WMCS 1290 AM, WTMJ 620 AM, and Wispolitics.com. She is the recipient of the 2008 UWM Alumni Foundation teaching excellence award for academic staff for her work in media diversity and innovative media formats and is the co-founder of Media Milwaukee.com, the UWM journalism department's award-winning online news site. McBride comes from a long-time Milwaukee journalism family. Her grandparents, Raymond and Marian McBride, were reporters for the Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Sentinel.
Her opinions reflect her own not the institution where she works.