MILWAUKEE -- In preparation for Summerfest's 50th anniversary next year, one of the most popular stages at Maier Festival Park is getting a major facelift.
Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. officials announced Monday, September 12th a multi-million dollar renewal of MillerCoors’ longstanding partnership as the Official Malt Beverage of Summerfest and Maier Festival Park.
"It's something that's part of the community, and its the fabric of the community," said James Wright III, the General Manager of Wisconsin for MillerCoors. "It is a statement by MillerCoors that we're going to continue to invest in Milwaukee."
"It really keeps the festival on firm financial footing," Smiley said. "This festival will be in great shape for years to come, due in part because of this sponsorship deal."
As part of the agreement, MillerCoors will also support the renovation of the Miller Lite Oasis area. Improvements will include a facelift for the facade of stage, a new Miller Lite Brew House bar, video screen upgrades, new bar areas, expanded hospitality areas and a reconfigured marketplace and Summerfest retail store.
"The last time we touched the Oasis, I think it has been over ten years," said Wright. "We wanted to make sure that we kept the grounds the best possible place for consumers and music fans."
In addition to MillerCoors' major renovations on the Oasis area, Milwaukee World Festival will fund an overhaul of the Summerfest store, creating a permanent, walled-in building with air conditioning.
"At some point, we'll have totally rebuilt the entire grounds," said Smiley. "This is another step in that direction.
The upgrades are scheduled to be completed for the 2017 festival season and Summerfest's 50th festival.
The renovation project will include:
- Renovated stage area: The new stage will incorporate design elements reflective of the historic Miller Brewery and Miller Valley. The new design also will offer improved sight lines by eliminating visual obstructions for a better viewing experience.
- Miller Lite Brew House: A new side stage bar will offer a new covered space for Summerfest patrons. The Brew House will have the capacity to feature exclusive beverage offerings and enhanced opportunities for front row access through MillerCoors promotions.
- Expanded hospitality deck: MillerCoors will significantly expand its Hospitality Deck to allow for increased promotional and experiential opportunities.
- New viewing deck and redesigned bar areas: A new elevated viewing deck will be built within the stage area development, featuring a first floor bar. In addition to the new long bar, every bar area in the new Miller Lite Oasis will be reinvented to provide patrons with better access and accommodation.
- Redesigned Marketplace and Summerfest Store: With support from TSMGI, the exclusive vendor of Summerfest merchandise, the marketplace will include a brand new Summerfest Store. The store will be a permanent air conditioned glass building and will feature a large storefront and displays for an improved shopping experience. Additionally, the entire marketplace area will be reconfigured with permanent and expanded infrastructure for merchandise vendors as well as use by PrideFest and all the ethnic festivals.
The Miller Lite Oasis was last upgraded in 2006. Eppstein Uhen Architects and Hunzinger Construction Company have been selected to manage this latest project.
Summerfest 2017 – the festival’s 50th edition – will take place June 28 – July 2 and July 4 – July 9 from noon until midnight and will be closed Monday, July 3.