With arena deal sealed, Bucks move on to broader plans

By Samantha Nash

Milwaukee Bucks President Peter Feigin says the team is entering the next phase of community engagement.

Speaking Thursday at the first annual Milwaukee 7 Summit, Feigin said the NBA franchise will shift focus from generating political support for a new arena to working with business and community leaders to plan ancillary development and specifics on the arena construction.

Feigin hinted at an upcoming event in early November he said will draw thousands to the area. He said more detailed arena plans likely will be available around the same time as the event.

“We’re celebrating our past … our current players, and celebrating all the citizens and people who really helped us, in a big way, get this to the next level,” Feigin said.

Outlining his plan to increase partnerships with businesses and nonprofit groups, Feigin told the audience professional sports teams help businesses attract skilled workers by improving the region. He said the hiring needs related to the new arena will also have an effect on the city.

“We are going to redefine the work development program and hiring,” Feigin said. “It will literally transform this city.”

He added the ancillary development includes plans for new downtown housing that will add to the area’s drawing power. Feigin said the team will use targeted building programs to address economic and social problems in the city and will partner with area schools to meet sport and academic needs.

Expressing his desire to develop a following for the Bucks similar to that of the Green Bay Packers, Feigin said interaction with young fans is important. He said the team will court citizens from across the state, adding that the renewal of its contract with radio station WTMJ would play a part.

“It’s not about money; it’s about strategy,” Feigin said. “TMJ allows us to cover the entire state, corner to corner, and we’ve leveraged them to create more affiliates.”