The Milwaukee Bucks agreed yesterday to a 30-year lease on the new arena, which they hope to begin construction on this summer. They’ll pay a minimum of a million dollars a year to the Wisconsin Center District. Meanwhile, another nearby project the Bucks are partnered with also took a step forward this week.
The planned Athletic Performance Research Center is one step closer to fruition. A needed zoning change for the project got preliminary approval from the Milwaukee Common Council this week. Final approval could come Friday on the joint plan from Marquette University and Aurora Health Care.
The president of Marquette, Michael Lovell, and Nick Turkal, president of Aurora, say they are both committed to the scientific advances the new facility will foster as well as to supporting Milwaukee's legacy.
Lovell says it is a win-win for the city, its communities, athletes, patients, the university and Aurora Health Care. He says through building a facility that is best in class in the country, "it changes what we do with new knowledge."
Both Lovell and Turkal believe the new research center will attract athletes outside of Wisconsin and help the state population overall. "The ability to learn more about exercise, about physiology, about wellness, behavioral health components - that's critical to our population across Wisconsin. We'll be able to use that information effectively," says Turkal.
Located near downtown Milwaukee, where both Marquette and Aurora Sinai share a backyard, Turkal says the physical structure will be an investment in the longevity of Milwaukee.
"This is a very important part of the near west side of Milwaukee and Mike (Lovell) and I are both so committed to making sure that we not only live there and are part of the community, but that we make it better over time and are part of revitalizing downtown Milwaukee," he says.