Aerial photos show just how ginormous new Bucks arena will be

There are new aerial photos of the new Milwaukee Bucks arena alongside their two previous arenas — see if you can play “Which of these things is not like the other?”

That’s right: The new arena is the freaking ginormous building that looks like it could swallow the two old arenas and have room left over for a couple of playground halfcourts.

We’ve covered before here that one reason new sports venues are so damned expensive is that they’re typically just so much bigger than the ones that preceded them, but this is nice photographic evidence. As for why they keep getting bigger, the reasons are two-fold: First off, a bigger footprint means more room to cram in stuff like food courts and corporate orgy spaces or whatever season-ticket buyers are looking for these days, all of which means more potential revenue streams for the team owners. But also, while the size of the court hasn’t changed, seating bowls are tending to get bigger and bigger to fit in more luxury seating and “open concourses,” which requires a lot of acreage.

All of which to say that Steve Kerr is probably right to be worried about the Golden State Warriors‘ new arena:

“Everybody loved the old Chicago Stadium, and the United Center was so huge that it felt more like a concession to modern needs.

“I understand (that reality). They’ve got to pay the bills. But the old Chicago Stadium was like the old Madison Garden, one of the iconic places to play. And as a player, you kind of like that intimacy. So you know, we may face some of that in leaving Oracle. I think it’s inevitable, given that when stadiums were built in the ’70s, they were much more intimate because you didn’t have the huge footprint with all of the suites and the causeways, the concourses and everything, to fit in all the restaurants and clubs. So you have to make a concession for the need, for generating the revenue that’s going to pay for the team. But if you can do it and still figure out a way to make it a really intimate place, that’s the trick. I know that’s what they’re trying to do here.”


9 comments on “Aerial photos show just how ginormous new Bucks arena will be

  1. For sure. The new Pizza Pizza arena is insanely enormous with the open concourses, offices, and apartments. Have to think with the Braves talking about their “real estate company” and the Rangers tearing down their stadium with an office building for the city to build a new stadium with a hotel sounds a little too much like they are playing monopoly.

  2. One thing I feel pretty confident in saying is that San Francisco really needed a venue like Chase. It’s a great location, and San Francisco had nothing like this. They’re claiming it’ll be used 300+ nights a year — and I believe them.

    Private investors rushed in to fill that particular void, and I think they had some solid reasons for doing so. For all the people who love to claim how hopelessly liberal San Francisco is, they sure made some great decisions on AT&T Park and letting the football team go. Chase will prove to be another great decision.

    Now, if only the BOS would do something about their potholes and their homeless problem…

    • I have no particular issue with the new arena but I’m not sure how it was decided we “needed a venue like Chase.” Needed it to do what? Yes, it’s a great location. Yes, we had nothing like it before. However, those two statements would both apply equally as much if we built a roller coster, a replica of Hanging Gardens of Babylon or a space elevator along the Embarcadero and I don’t think anyone would argue “yes, of course that’s what we need!”

      San Francisco needs exactly one thing: Housing. That’s basically it. That’s one thing the arena doesn’t have contained in it.

  3. This is exactly what Adam Silver talked about when he said that the Buck’s current arena lacks the “back of the house amenities”. The current arena seats 18,700 & the new one will only hold 17,000 but the new one is twice as big. I’m guessing the concourses, clubs, media rooms, locker rooms & luxury suites at the new crib are going to be massive compared to what they have now.

  4. I remember in 96 when the United Center in Chicago and the newly re-named “Key Arena” opened in Seattle. There was a lot of chatter about how Chicago got it wrong by building too big and how Seattle got it just right with the remodeled and “intimate” Seattle Center Coliseum. In the year 2007 our Supersonics were off to Oklahoma City because the arena sucked.

  5. Can this Milwaukee arena be properly configured for hockey? I know Milwaukee has an AHL team but they won’t be playing there.

    I ask because Gary Bettman may have another relocation threat available?

    • I always thought the Blackhawks had veto power over the NHL in Milwaukee. At the very least, Milwaukee would have to pay the Hawks a boatload of money.
      I don’t think Gary Bettman is hurting for relocation threats.

      • The arena will be equipped with a full NHL-sized rink, primarily for Frozen Fours and Disney shows. Like you, I assume the Blackhawks have an unofficial veto on an NHL team as Milwaukee’s never seemed to have been used as a relocation threat in the past 30 years despite the Bradley Center being a more than adequate venue.

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