Bucks Showoff Upgrades To Fiserv Forum
NBA season starts Tuesday with team's ring ceremony.
The Milwaukee Bucks kick off their quest this week to repeat as NBA champions.
And while the basketball team will have to wait until 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to take the court, the team’s business side highlighted all the fan-focused changes to Fiserv Forum Monday morning.
“Mitchell & Ness is just a really, really hot brand right now,” said team senior vice president of business ventures Michael Belot. The business produces vintage-style apparel for all four major league sports leagues. For the Bucks that includes throw-backs to the 1970s through 1990s, including the team’s 1980s green-and-white jerseys as well as the purple, green and-silver color scheme from the 1990s.
The store, which features everything from bags to retro jerseys, is the largest in-stadium Mitchell & Ness store, Belot said. He said the team began pursuing the store before the pandemic hit. It replaces what was largely an empty area that was adorned with a nearly life-sized Kareem Abdul-Jabbar bobblehead (relocated just outside the store).
The food and drink menu has also been upgraded, alongside the way people order.
The team is offering a hybrid operation where you can skip the line by ordering from the Bucks smartphone application or buy food at the counter.
“Our whole idea here is to really improve your experience and cut down wait times,” said chief technology and strategy officer Robert Cordova.
The food menu has also been upgraded. That includes a new rotating selection of Klement’s sausages at the Southside Market Test Kitchen on the upper concourse. A number of pre-pandemic offerings are also back, including draft beer.
But the premium seating sections will experience the greatest change. A number of Milwaukee area businesses now will see their products featured, including Signature Sweets, Lush Gourmet Popcorn, Confectionately Yours, FortuNuts gourmet nuts, Bunny’s Bite, Lumpia City, A Goodman’s Desserts, Milwaukee Chip Company and Pacific Lush shrimp.
“It’s always been a mission of ours to put back into the community what we get from them,” said vice president of hospitality Kenneth Hardiman.
Two new branded bars will be available on the main concourse this year. The Tanduay Rum Bar is located on the southeast corner. The Philippines-based company will also have its rum available throughout Deer District.
Later this season, a Hennessy Bar will open on the northwest corner of the main concourse. Hennessy-branded cocktails will be available throughout the arena.
The new bars will join Miller, Leinenkugels and Jack Daniel’s branded bars. The latter partnership includes Jack Daniel’s flavored food items.
And if you’re going to the game, the team recommends getting to your seat by 5:45 p.m. for the ring ceremony. For those that didn’t don a jersey alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo last year, replica rings will be available for purchase in the in-arena stores.
Fans sitting in courtside seats (rows AAA through DDD) are required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test and also must wear a mask while seated. Fans sitting beyond the first four rows are not required to wear a mask or be vaccinated, but the Bucks and Fiserv Forum “strongly advise everyone, regardless of vaccination status” to wear a mask indoors.
And while the action happens inside the arena, the team hopes to capture the energy of the Deer District crowds that formed during the playoff run. A free watch party starts at 5 p.m.