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Johnson Controls “smart building” partner for Bucks new Wisconsin Entertainment & Sports Center

The Milwaukee Bucks have announced a new partnership with Johnson Controls, a global multi-industrial leader, to become the official “smart building” partner for the new Wisconsin Entertainment & Sports Center in downtown Milwaukee.


As the first Founding Partner for the new arena, Johnson Controls will implement a variety of building technology solutions throughout the facility to enhance the fan experience, improve the building’s performance, reduce energy usage and reduce the arena’s environmental footprint.


Together, the Bucks and Johnson Controls are building a smart, sustainable and efficient world-class arena, while joining in a commitment to develop a healthier and more vibrant Milwaukee community for future generations.


Bucks President, Peter Feigin, said at the March 30 announcement:

This is an absolutely historic day, not just for the Bucks and Johnson Controls but for the city of Milwaukee. Our ownership group is committed to building an arena that will be the gold standard for a sports and entertainment facility, while also driving additional development and community growth throughout the region. We wouldn’t be able to accomplish those goals without the partnership and support of Johnson Controls. Together we’re going to build an incredible arena and an incredible future for our home city.


Alex Molinaroli, Chairman & CEO for Johnson Controls, said:

Johnson Controls has been committed to Milwaukee for 132 years and our partnership with the Bucks is an investment that will make the downtown arena a world-class sports and entertainment destination, while delivering a winning experience for fans with a building that is smart, connected and sustainable.


As the “smart building” partner of the new Wisconsin Entertainment & Sports Center (WESC), Johnson Controls will work closely with the Bucks, Mortenson Construction, ICON Venue Group and numerous industry-leading subcontractors to furnish, install and integrate state-of-the-art smart building solutions throughout the new facility. These innovative and integrated technologies will provide a combination of safety, security and sustainability that will maximise both the fan experience and building performance for Milwaukee’s new downtown arena.


Latest aerial image, taken March 15, showing the Arena development in full swing


Johnson Controls’ building, business and specialty systems will be managed on a unified, intelligent infrastructure including HVAC, building automation, security, lighting, fire protection and information technology. By simplifying and optimising how the building functions, Johnson Controls will enable more control for the Bucks to operate the arena at the same time delivering a superior fan experience.


As a Founding Partner for the new arena, Johnson Controls will also receive sponsorship rights and benefits including important media assets, arena signage and other team and building activations. In addition, the Milwaukee-based company will partner with the team and the Milwaukee Bucks Foundation on additional initiatives aimed at building a safer, healthier and more vibrant community for Milwaukee residents, not just in and around the new arena but throughout the city. Additional details will be shared as they develop.


The new WESC is the centrepiece of an ambitious development project spearheaded by Bucks ownership to transform 27-acres of mostly vacant property into a vibrant retail and entertainment district in the heart of downtown Milwaukee. Scheduled to open in autumn/fall of 2018, the 714,000-square-foot arena will be home to Milwaukee Bucks basketball and countless sports and entertainment events. For more information, visit: www.wisconsinesc.com


Project Team & Stats

Designed by Kansas City, Missouri-based architecture firm Populous, in association with Eppstein Uhen Architects and HNTB, the 714,000-square-foot venue will anchor a developing 27-acre district in downtown Milwaukee.


The venue, located in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, links the historic Old World Third Street, the riverfront, the heavily commuted Water Street, and the exhibition space at the Wisconsin Center. The new downtown stadium, like its predecessor—which was designed by Populous and completed in 1988—will host other events, such as concerts. Its design pays homage to Milwaukee’s architectural heritage and the region’s environment.


The eye-catching façade will feature an immense wall of glass that, for those outside its barrier, will reveal the activity going on inside the arena. However, the building’s most striking feature will be its arched roof, which, clad in patinated zinc shingles, overlaps the glass façade and stretches down to street level on one side. This sloping section will be punctuated with vertical, multi-storied glass, which will include ceramic frit patterns.


The project will be managed by Mortenson Construction, the #1 sports builder in the country, has completed more than 160 sports and entertainment projects in the U.S., including U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis (home of the NFL Minnesota Vikings), SunTrust Park in Cobb County, GA (home of the MLB Atlanta Braves), and Chase Center, the future home of the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco.


Images, courtesy: Milwaukee Bucks


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