I’ve attended well over 100 Milwaukee Bucks games, dating back to when the arena first opened its doors. I’ve sat in the nose bleeds seats a few times, but I’ve been lucky enough to admit that the majority of my viewing experiences have been seven rows up from the floor at center court. When the Bucks were playing well, I remember consistently packed houses, which is quite the contrast to today’s landscape and the arena’s struggle to fill half its seats. I’ve attended a few games this season, and I started to wonder, what could be done to make the BMO Harris Bradley Center a better place to watch a game? As I walked around the seating bowl, I noticed several niches equipped with big screen TVs, and each niche was filled with large groups of people watching the game.
An idea came to me on how to change the way we view professional sports. It’s a great experience to be able to sit in the lower bowl area of the arena (although the folding chairs leave something to be desired), but if you are seated in the upper deck, the game has a much different perspective.
My idea is to flatten the upper deck of the BMO Harris Bradley Center by removing the racked seats and creating a floored balcony that overlooks the court. This area could be used as an entertainment venue, similar to Miller Park, and feature bars, restaurants and mega-screen TVs for fans to watch the game. This area would likely attract a younger crowd — a crowd that prefers mobility and not being confined to sitting in one spot.
I’m not sure if this idea is structurally feasible or what the financial impact would be, but the recent lack of excitement at the games allows my architectural mind to ponder what could be done with the existing venue. It’s no secret that the future of the arena is a hot topic in Milwaukee right now, but instead of concentrating on constructing a new venue, maybe it’s time we examine our existing venue and what could be done to renovate and/or improve it.