By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Feb 25, 2015 at 11:10 AM Photography: Bobby Tanzilo

The Milwaukee Bucks have hired Populous, a global design practice that specializes in arena, stadium, ballpark and convention center design, to design a new Downtown arena. Local firms HNTB and Eppstein Uhen will assist in the project.

In a statement released by the team, Bucks co-owner Wes Edens said "Wisconsin deserves a world-class sports and entertainment destination that embraces Milwaukee’s architecture and incorporates innovative elements from across the globe.

"We are confident that this team has the expertise to create the ultimate fan-centric arena and a year-round public space, both of which will be integral to downtown Milwaukee’s transformation. By hiring a design team to help create a vision for this development, we continue to work toward ensuring that the Bucks permanently remain a vital Wisconsin asset."

The Bucks said the ownership group is "engaging architects at this time to help ensure the project is able to meet the anticipated deadline" even though financing is not yet in place.