Populous-Designed Fiserv Forum Makes NBA Debut

Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee’s much anticipated Populous-designed sports and entertainment venue, officially debuts as an NBA arena tomorrow when the Milwaukee Bucks host the Indiana Pacers in their first regular season game of 2018. From the exterior’s sweeping zinc-clad roof that draws from Milwaukee’s waterfront and built heritage to the interior’s extensive gathering space which reflects the city’s penchant for socializing, Fiserv Forum tells the story of the city inside and out, representing a ripple effect for the urban renaissance of Milwaukee.

The arena’s most prominent feature and the first thing fans will see is the wave-like roof. Its organic form masks the arena’s footprint of nearly 724,000 square feet to give it an inviting presence, welcoming Bucks fans to enter the venue and experience the arena’s unique social offerings.

“Fans attend games to have experiences they can’t get anywhere else. Social gathering defines the modern sports venue,” said Brad Clark, Senior Principal at Populous and design principal on the project. “For Fiserv Forum, every ticketed area offers something memorable – skyline views, unrivaled sightlines to the court, and unique clubs unlike anything in the league. A fan can come to numerous games and events and experience something new every time.”

Designed to seat 17,500 for basketball and up to 18,000 for concerts, Fiserv Forum features extraordinary vantage points fine-tuned from Populous’ 35 years of arena design experience. Two-thirds of the arena’s total seats are in the lower bowl, allowing the upper bowl to be positioned closer to the event floor, ensuring every seat has a world-class view. As a result, Fiserv Forum sold out of its loft and suite inventory for the season ahead of its first NBA game and recently sold its 10,000th season ticket, setting a new record for the Milwaukee Bucks.

“This is such a major moment for the Bucks organization,” said Jamie Morningstar, Senior Vice President of Ticket Sales and Service for the Milwaukee Bucks. “There’s an incredible buzz about the team and Fiserv Forum, and people from all over Wisconsin are excited to be part of it.”

Fiserv Forum NBA
Courtesy of Milwaukee Bucks

To cater to Milwaukee’s social culture, Populous and local partner Eppstein Uhen Architects designed the interior to offer something for everyone in terms of amenities, location and price, highlighted by three premier clubs: the BMO Club, Mezzanine Club and Panorama Club, which is on the highest level of the building and features an outdoor terrace with sweeping views of Milwaukee’s skyline. Premium seating in Fiserv Forum includes 34 private suites each with a 30-person capacity which can be connected up to six at a time or anywhere in-between; the West Bend Lofts, complete with two-person seating spaces which can be packaged together for group outings; and more than 800 club seats.

As a cultural center for the city, Fiserv Forum was designed to tie together Milwaukee’s natural beauty and history. Its wave-like roof was inspired by the current of the nearby Milwaukee River, and the 80,440 square feet of zinc architectural panels on the exterior evoke the warmth of wood from the region’s many forests.

Additionally, extensive glass blurs the lines between indoor and outdoor space to create an open and inviting atmosphere, while Cream City-inspired brick is incorporated throughout Fiserv Forum’s exterior and interior to give visitors a true sense of place. Additionally, the arena is home to the Milwaukee Bucks Art Collection, which includes 79 original pieces and 43 photographs, created by 32 artists, 22 of whom have Wisconsin ties.

Fiserv Forum NBA
Courtesy of Eppstein Uhen Architects

Fiserv Forum keeps fans connected to each other through more than 300 distributed antenna systems and 16 wireless access zones throughout the arena. The arena features more than 12,000 square feet of video displays, including the center-hung scoreboard, more than 3,900 square feet in size, making it the largest equilateral center-hung display in the NBA. Additionally, Fiserv Forum’s more than 800 high-definition flat screen televisions are the most in the league to ensure fans are tuned into the action whether they are in their seats or on the move.

While Fiserv Forum’s primary tenants are the Milwaukee Bucks and Marquette men’s basketball team, the arena was always intended to be an entertainment hub for the city to host performing acts, concerts and more. The venue has booked more than 22 concerts alone for its inaugural year. In combination with the Bucks’ new training facility, the Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Science Center and the developing entertainment block, Fiserv Forum was developed to breathe new life into downtown Milwaukee.

Populous’ arena experience includes designing and planning more than 85 arena projects ranging in size from collegiate facilities to major NHL and NBA venues. To learn more about Fiserv Forum, visit populous.com/fiservforum.

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