MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks opened up Fiserv Forum on Sunday afternoon in downtown Milwaukee. The ceremony was filled with speakers, fans, music, and superstar cameos.
Among those in attendance included current Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, Bucks legends Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, Michael Redd and Vin Baker, coach Mike Budenholzer, general manager Jon Horst, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Owners Wed Edens, Marc Lasry, Jamie Dinan, and Mike Fascitelli were in attendance as well as former Bucks owner Senator Herb Kohl and Governor Scott Walker.
The arena took roughly two years to complete after construction began back in June of 2018.
The day started off with the franchise breaking a world record for “The World’s Largest Vinyl Welcome Mat” according to Guinness World Records. The mat was set next to the stage where the ribbon cutting ceremony took place to the left of the main stage outside Fiserv Forum. The mat was measured at 2,224.20 square feet, breaking the previous record of 2,152 square feet, according to Guinness World Records.
As for the arena itself, the Bucks immediately move from having one of the worst arenas in the NBA to one of, if not the best. Fiserv Forum is a state-of-the-art facility that is a tremendous upgrade from the BMO Harris Bradley Center which remains next door for the time being. The building will be have a capacity of 17,500 people for basketball games and up to 18,000 for concerts and other events.
While the area is still under construction, the building is mostly complete. There are still finishing touches to be wrapped up, but everything looks suitable for events as of now. Most of the unfinished things are murals and decorations in areas that will never be seen by the large majority of people that enter the building.
There’s plenty of reason for optimism as the new building officially opens up. Commissioner Silver said it will bring an NBA All-Star game in the future, although he could not commit to exactly when that would be. Both Middleton and Thon Maker were excited about the new home for the team as well.
The first event inside of Fiserv Forum is set for Sept. 4 when The Killers are in concert.