Bucks exec touts developments coming to Deer District

An executive with the Milwaukee Bucks says new developments in the Deer District will help attract more visitors and give the local economy a boost. 

Michael Belot is the team’s senior vice president of Bucks ventures and development. Speaking at a recent meeting of the Milwaukee Rotary Club, he outlined the management team’s plan for further success following the team’s 2021 NBA Championship. 

“We’re a championship organization, one of the premier teams in the NBA where we were dead-last just seven, eight years ago,” he said. “How do we take this moment in time and really leverage it for now, but then also for the future?” 

While he touted the Bucks’ success on the court, he said the organization’s popularity shouldn’t be “completely contingent” on the team’s performance. 

“We’re about a $275 million business right now, [Milwaukee Bucks President Peter Feigin] has put the challenge to us, ‘How do we get to $400 million?’ … That’s something that we’re really looking to do,” Belot said, adding he aims to double the team’s retail performance. 

He also gave an overview on coming developments for the 30-acre Deer District in downtown Milwaukee, including a new hotel called The Trade. After about a year of construction, it’s slated to open in May with more than 200 rooms and multiple restaurants. The hotel’s fourth floor is specially designed to accommodate NBA players, with higher ceilings, shower heads and counters, wider corridors and bigger beds, he noted. 

“That’s something that’s really unique and is going to set us apart from other visiting markets,” Belot said. “We think it’ll be a no-brainer for other visiting teams to want to stay.” 

He also discussed two music venues going up just south of the Fiserv Forum, noting the city’s Common Council signed off on the project about two months ago. It includes a 4,000-person venue and an 800-person venue, he explained. 

“Something totally different that Milwaukee currently doesn’t offer, and it’s going to be bringing in talent, therefore, that doesn’t currently come to Milwaukee … the economic impact to the surrounding area will be $15 million,” he said. 

See more on the projects: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvHxmiHTqnw 

–By Alex Moe