New opening date: Bucks arena in downtown Milwaukee won’t open until 2018-2019 season

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MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks senior VP of communications on Tuesday, October 27th confirmed for FOX6 News that the opening date for the Bucks’ new arena in downtown Milwaukee has now been pushed back to the 2018-2019 season.

The NBA had set a deadline for the Milwaukee Bucks to build the new arena by 2017 — or the Bucks would be moved from Milwaukee. But NBA officials said the Bucks would likely be granted a deadline extension by the if their project was already underway.

An NBA spokesman said Tuesday that the league is “comfortable with the revised timetable.”

Jake Suski said this in a statement to FOX6 News:

“This is a collaborative effort between us and the city. Over the next several months, we’ll be working through our development plans with the Plan Commission, development committee and Common Council. We understand our plans and designs will continue to evolve.

While there isn’t a specific time schedule attached to the construction phases outlined, our discussions with the city and construction plans have evolved over the past several weeks. Our working construction schedule now targets the arena opening for the 2018-19 season.

We tried to do everything we could to put together a plan that would meet 2017-18 target date, but that simply isn’t realistic given everything that needs to be done prior to groundbreaking and throughout the construction schedule. It’s important to all of us to do this the right way, not simply the fastest way.”

We’ve been in close contact with the league throughout the process and they’re aware of the new target date.”

The Milwaukee Bucks’ ownership group submitted its first arena development plan to city of Milwaukee officials for review on Monday, October 26th, the Milwaukee Business Journal reports. The plan lays out the $500 million arena, and surrounding $500 million sports and entertainment complex planned for downtown.

The project involves a new six-story arena, and the BMO Harris Bradley Center will be demolished, along with its parking structure.

The BMO Harris Bradley Center property will be redeveloped, and this plan also calls for the redevelopment of land in Milwaukee’s Park East corridor, which was sold to the Bucks for $1.

The blocks surrounding the arena would include offices, apartments, restaurants, retail, grocery, parking, and more.

“This is another step forward,” Bucks President Peter Feigin said at the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) annual meeting Monday. “It will take place over the next two to 10 years.”

According to the Milwaukee Business Journal, the Bucks ownership group would lead the overall development, but plans to recruit other developers to participate on individual projects and buildings.

City approval for the overall plan is required before work can begin.

While general when it comes to the details of the buildings themselves, the Milwaukee Business Journal says the plan gives an idea of what people downtown can expect to see as the project kicks off.

Construction for the sports and entertainment district would begin once the arena is complete. Work on the arena is expected to last into 2017, the Milwaukee Business Journal says.

The demolition of the Bradley Center would follow.

The last properties expected to be developed are on the Park East blocks between Fifth and Old World Third streets. They would remain surface parking lots well into the 2020s, under the Bucks proposal, the Milwaukee Business Journal says.

The Milwaukee Common Council’s Plan Commission will review the construction proposal for the new area and surrounding developments on November 9th.

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