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UW–Milwaukee Panther Arena (Milwaukee Mecca Arena)

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1949, Eschweiler and Eschweiler. 404–440 W. Kilbourn Ave.
  • (Photograph by Andrew Hope)

Red brick, window bands, and a verdigris copper-clad arched roof give the arena a modern profile within the eclectic mix of downtown Milwaukee’s large-venue facilities. The arena was home to the Milwaukee Bucks during their first twenty years in the National Basketball Association with Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar leading the team. It was also home court for the Marquette University Warriors during Al Maguire’s particularly successful reign at Marquette. A series of bronze plaques depicts state athletes inducted into Wisconsin’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Although built for sporting events, the arena also hosted the Beatles during their first, historic North American tour in September 1964, as well as conventions and trade shows. Today, the building is part of the Wisconsin Center District, along with the Milwaukee Theater (500 W. Kilbourn Avenue) and the former Midwest Airlines Center (MI53).

In 1998, the arena was remodeled to improve access for disabled guests and add the ice-making capability necessary for hockey and ice-skating competitions. Now the UW–Milwaukee Panther Arena, it seats 12,700 and is home to the university’s basketball team and the Wave, Milwaukee’s professional indoor soccer team.

Writing Credits

Marsha Weisiger et al.


What's Nearby


Marsha Weisiger et al., "UW–Milwaukee Panther Arena (Milwaukee Mecca Arena)", [Milwaukee, Wisconsin], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Wisconsin

Buildings of Wisconsin, Marsha Weisiger and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017, 83-84.

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