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Bucks arena press conference quoteboard

Several key players behind the new arena project spoke today at a press conference. What did they have to say? Read on!

Bucks.com TV

Bucks President Peter Feigin

Opening comments:

"This is the first example of the kind of vision of our owner group. Not only are we creating 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. You can see through the renderings and these pictures of this state-of-the-art sports and entertainment district that can generate a ripple effect of economic development throughout the state. Our owners' vision is reflected in these renderings you see before us. We have a master plan development of this new sports and entertainment district, and this is an evolution that now we prospect will take over 10 years through the vision. We see this new sports and entertainment district as a billion dollar project, $500 million for an arena and an additional $500 million for ancillary development in the heart of downtown Milwaukee. This is not just an arena; this a year-round, vibrant urban community. This is built and developed to attract jobs, investment, and growth. We want to create a ripple effect throughout downtown and across the state."

"These are the early stages of our designs. They reflect our owners vision of an arena designed with maximum flexibility that can accommodate varied sports and entertainment. This is a glimpse of the future that we're looking forward to building here in Milwaukee."

On how the property will be handled:

"We think this is going to be a public-private partnership, probably with an authority created to oversee this district. So, we see this being publicly owned land and, if we're going to guess now, the team or other developers would buy or lease partials."

On the importance of the renderings as they relate to appealing to legislators:

"Without a question. I mean, the optics becomes reality. I think it's very important to put a visual with what the concept is. We've had great support from Madison, we've had great support from county, great support from the city, but this is one of the steps that brings us much closer to actually having a plan, an agreeable next step."

On a possible time frame for construction:

"If we went on best laid plans and we had a state budget ratified latest June 30th, then we'd look to get a shovel in the ground by early fall. That's our reality of how do we accelerate."

Mike Fascitelli  (managing partner/owner)

Opening remarks:

"This to me is an engine or nucleus for future development or growth for the city and for the state. I think it would be not a successful thing if we just built an arena, but we're trying to build a community and a community center that has a lot of uses at various times including on the non-game days."

"This arena will have a huge impact around the surrounding areas, and the arena, the plaza--which you can see is a terrific element to the design here--, and then this parking garage (just east of the current BMOHBC) will be almost a million feet in the initial phase. Additionally, we think a couple [inaudible] can be built beyond that in a 10-year period of retail, housing residential, student housing, entertainment, and office. So this could be a great long-term project obviously for the city and the county and the state."

"We are going to respect the traditions of the buildings around it, the sites around it, and Milwaukee architectural things."

Additional comment on time frame:

"The arena itself is about a two-year process to build, so that's just to keep in your mind. Our goal is to try to get open for the 2017 season, but we're moving with that goal in mind. We're on a very tight time frame for that."

Brad Clark (lead architect for Populous)

Opening remarks:

"It was clear to us from the  beginning that the Bucks ownership has a tremendous vision. This really isn't just about designing an arena. It's more than an arena; it's really a development. It's a bigger and broader vision. This arena design and the associated development looks to the future and honors the significant past and the rich heritage of architecture and unique spirit of place that is Milwaukee."

On the design itself:

"In this aerial view is a depiction of the new 17,000 seat arena and what we're calling the entertainment live block, which is that area to the east of the arena proper. This project again is more than just that core. While it's the anchor, it's surrounded by development on all sides. It includes entertainment, commercial uses, hotel residential, parking, and office uses, as well as, as Peter [Feigin] mentioned, a new practice facility for the Bucks at the western end of the Park East property."

"We envision that 4th street would be closed to create an expansive plaza between the live block and the arena.

"The arena is really envisioned to express two things. It's really the natural beauty of the area, of the region, and also the kind of  heritage of industry and of craftsmen, and sort of the heritage of this community.

"The transparency that you see indicated in the view of the main entrance facade to the arena faces toward the downtown core, and that transparency allows views of the skyline, the surrounding community, and also views into the project from the outside.

"The third view is a ground-level view from the east live block space. I think this gives you a sense of the spectacular opportunity that we have with the arena location, which anchors the end of this live block across this expansive plaza. That live block and its plaza will serve as the forecourt to the arena and a gathering place for the community.

"We envision this as a year-round destination that draws people from the region together for unforgettable experiences."

Greg Uhen (Eppstein Uhen)

Opening remarks:

"This will become a connective neighborhood, a neighborhood that includes residential. People that will live here, work here, and be entertained here. That makes it a 24/7, 365 type of neighborhood. It also will begin to connect some of the other very successful developments and neighborhoods in the immediate vicinity."

On the plausibility of these renderings representing what we'll eventually see:

"This is realistic stuff. This is not pie in the sky. If you look at the scale of this, it's something that's very doable for our city to not only to envision, but actually create."

If you happened to miss the press conference and/or hate reading quotes, you can watch the stream of it here.