The Milwaukee Bucks aim to create a true urban plan around a new Downtown arena, and the billion dollar concept could have far reaching effects.
"This is the first example of kind of the vision of our owner group," Bucks president Peter Feigin said at a press conference three weeks ago. Not only do we want to create a championship-caliber team on the court, and a championship-caliber team off the court, but we really want to invest in the future of this state and specifically the future of this city."
Here are some people in the community feel the plan may affect them:
Tom Barrett, Milwaukee mayor
"Adding a world-class venue and more mixed-use development to the momentum we’re seeing in and around downtown is very exciting. The benefits to the state, the region and Milwaukee in terms of jobs, attracting investment and growing the tax base are key ingredients. That’s why I continue to support the Governor’s plan. I appreciate the efforts of all the interested parties to step up and continue working to make this project a reality."
Jake Dehne, co-owner 3 Beacons, Upper 90 Sports Pub, The Pub Club and Buckhead Saloon
"I have different two different views since two of our businesses will be directly affected. For The Pub Club, it is very exciting since we will be a corner business next to the heart of the rendering. We will have great foot traffic and the ability to capitalize on the additional concerts and events that the Live portion will contribute. People will still use the footbridge over the river and The Pub Club will be within a block of all the action.
"For Upper 90 Sports Pub we would be over a block away from the heart of the action, almost two. Upper 90 Sports Pub will benefit from the prospect of more residents closer to it and also all the further development going on around it. It seems Major Goolsbys still faired well after the Bradley Center was place a block north of heir location back in 1988. Loyal customers will still fill Upper 90 Sports Pub’s 100 person space but there will not be the direct benefit of currently being half a block from the entrance to the Bradley Center. I think the Upper 90 Sports Pub brand and customer loyalty will be a solid base for events and with the new arena drawing thousands of more people to events, plus more the additional events each year, we will continue to be packed before and after all events. The UWM Panther arena will still host events too. There will also be the possibility that we could now host a NBA All-Star game, NCAA finals, etc …
"All in all the development will send a a positive ripple effect throughout the area and I am glad they chose to be as close as possible to Old World 3rd Street and the excitement there is in the area."
Russell Staerkel, Wisconsin Center District president
"I think what the Bucks owners are doing is a fantastic thing for Milwaukee. I think the venue that drafted venue we saw, those are very preliminary drawings from what I understand, is right on. And I think that that's going to bring what we need in Milwaukee. It's going to bring people to Milwaukee. It's going to help Milwaukee. It's going to revitalize the Downtown. And they're going to be great partners not only to us, but to the entire community of Southeast Wisconsin. What they're planning to do, and what they've shown, is what Milwaukee needs. I take my hat off to them. It's a great thing for Milwaukee, it's a great thing for the Bucks, and just a great thing for Wisconsin in its entirety."
Jim Owczarski is an award-winning sports journalist and comes to Milwaukee by way of the Chicago Sun-Times Media Network.
A three-year Wisconsin resident who has considered Milwaukee a second home for the better part of seven years, he brings to the market experience covering nearly all major and college sports.
To this point in his career, he has been awarded six national Associated Press Sports Editors awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, breaking news and projects. He is also a four-time nominee for the prestigious Peter J. Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism, presented by the Chicago Headline Club, and is a two-time winner for Best Sports Story. He has also won numerous other Illinois Press Association, Illinois Associated Press and Northern Illinois Newspaper Association awards.
Jim's career started in earnest as a North Central College (Naperville, Ill.) senior in 2002 when he received a Richter Fellowship to cover the Chicago White Sox in spring training. He was hired by the Naperville Sun in 2003 and moved on to the Aurora Beacon News in 2007 before joining OnMilwaukee.com.
In that time, he has covered the events, news and personalities that make up the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, NCAA football, baseball and men's and women's basketball as well as boxing, mixed martial arts and various U.S. Olympic teams.
Golf aficionados who venture into Illinois have also read Jim in GOLF Chicago Magazine as well as the Chicago District Golfer and Illinois Golfer magazines.