This morning the Milwaukee Admirals and the Wisconsin Center District held a ceremonial ground breaking at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. The event officially dropped the puck on the $6.3 million worth of upgrades and renovations due to be installed during the course of the Admirals lease that was announced in March. Construction starts on Monday via JP Cullen Construction with a goal for completion by October.
Press Release via Milwaukee Admirals:
Milwaukee, WI—Renovations and upgrades to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panther Arena will begin this Monday, June 20th in anticipation of the 2016-17 Milwaukee Admirals season, their first at the arena since 1986-87.
The total cost of the project will be $6.3 million, of which $2 million will be provided by the Admirals and the remainder paid for by the Wisconsin Center District, who operates the Panther Arena as well as the Milwaukee Theatre and the Wisconsin Center.
“We are excited to get the renovations and improvements underway here at the Panther Arena,” said Admirals Governor and CEO Harris Turer. “The facilities that will be created for players will be NHL-caliber and combined with the intimacy and fan-friendly atmosphere of the Arena, we will have a tremendous home ice advantage.”
The keystone project to the renovations will be the addition of a new locker room for the Admirals, as well as a new locker room that will be used by the Milwaukee Wave Soccer team and visiting hockey and basketball teams. Here is a complete list of projects to be completed this summer:
Ø New Admirals Locker Room
Ø New Wave/Visiting Hockey/Basketball Locker room
Ø Commissary Kitchen Upgrades
Ø Seat Replacement Phase 3 (Replacement of remaining blue seats)
Ø Replace Existing Sport Lights and Work Lights with LEDs
Ø Install WiFi Access Points in Arena Bowl
Ø Purchase New Dasherboards with Optimized Acrylic
Ø Purchase Retractable North Risers and Rink Side Risers
Ø Purchase Necessary Equipment for Hockey
Ø Upgrade South Upper and North Box Offices & Will Call Room
Ø Team Store Expansion
Ø Convert Police Room to 1st Aid Room
Ø Kitchen & Concession Upgrades
Ø Elevator Refurbish Ceiling and Floor
Ø Concourse & Restroom Upgrades
Ø Renovate Ticket Lobby & Concourse Floors
Ø Arena Roof
Ø Upgrade Media Room
Ø Painting Upgrades
“The UW Milwaukee Panther Arena is home to the best variety of sports and entertainment events in Milwaukee,” said Russ Staerkel, President of the Wisconsin Center District. “Facility investments including free WiFi, new seats, and expanded concessions will solidify our place as the best fan experience as well.”
JP Cullen Construction, which is based out of Janesville, will oversee the projects which are scheduled to be completed this fall in advance of the Admirals home opener on October 29th. In business since 1892, JP Cullen is a $380 million full-service pre-construction and construction company with 600 employees, managing projects from $1,000 to over $80 million in size, including the Camp Randall Student Athlete Performance Center at the University of Wisconsin and the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences building.
Shown at this morning’s press conference were details of the new Milwaukee Admirals locker room which included a rendering of how it will look. For those who may have entered the player locker room during a season ticket holder event you would immediately spot the changes.
The locker room will no longer have a “road” atmosphere look about it. Rather than being squared off, pushing players far apart, it will instead be rounded to keep the team nestled together just as many teams at the NHL level have. The area in which the Admirals will be calling home is also fairly expansive.
Additionally, there will be renovations and an expansion of the Milwaukee Admirals team store as well as upgrades made to additional locker rooms in the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena for youth, high school, college, and adult hockey teams.
LED lighting is going to be introduced to the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. If utilized in the capacity I’ve seen with some NHL teams around the league I feel Wisconsin Center District President Russ Staerkel’s comment of, “the first hockey match we have here I will want you to be here,” has me all the more giddy. Staerkel also made mention that concessions at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena will also be getting upgraded. There will be new food items made available around the concourse so options aren’t limited to a choice of hot dog or hot dog. The goal with upgrades outside of the locker room are aimed at making the fan experience second to none.
Thoughts on the upcoming renovations and upgrades to the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena? When was the last time you attended an event in that building? Are there any questions, comments, or concerns that you might have in regards to the current state of the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena that you would like asked? The plan today was for a Chatterbox. Due to car trouble that couldn’t be done -but- perhaps the silver lining could be presenting your questions to the higher-ups of the Admirals. So, please, ask questions if you have them!
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