improved at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena

What’s new & improved at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena?

In November, 2016, the Wisconsin Center District put the finishing touches on a $6.3 million improvement project at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. Funded through naming rights, operating revenues, and a $2 million contribution by the Milwaukee Admirals AHL hockey team, the upgrade represents one of the largest investments made to the building since it opened in 1950.

Prior improvements began in 2014, with the installation of a new scoreboard and the beginning of  project to replace all permanent seats; including those other capital projects, almost $10 million has been invested in the UWM Panther Arena over a 2 1/2-year period. The most dramatic changes were made between June and October of 2016, and include new locker rooms, improved ice-making, major concession upgrades, and the replacement of older systems with 21st century lighting, scoreboard and video technology.

“It is exciting to walk through the UWM Panther Arena and see that changes that were once part of a wish list, have become a reality for all our customers in the community,” said Russell Staerkel, President & CEO of the Wisconsin Center District. “We are proud to provide those who have grown up with – and those who are new to – this 66-year tradition of events at the Arena with a fresh, exciting experience.”

In addition to the Admirals, the UWM Panther Arena is home to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Men’s Basketball Team, the the Milwaukee Wave MASL indoor soccer team, and the Brewcity Bruisers women’s flat-track roller derby league; it also hosts concerts, entertainment, convention events, graduations, and other assemblies.

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Press & Media

Progress report 1: UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena upgrades —

Progress report 2: More UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena upgrades —

What’s new and what’s going on this weekend at upgraded UWM Panther Arena? —

First look inside the renovated UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena — Business Journal Serving Greater Milwaukee

Milwaukee Admirals unveil upgraded seating options at Panther Arena — Milwaukee BizTimes

Gene’s Blog: Welcome back to the not-so-same-old place — WTMJ-AM 620

“Nowhere I’d rather be:” Milwaukee Admirals home opener lights up the ice at newly renovated arena — Fox 6 WITI-TV

Milwaukee Admirals ecstatic to play at Panther Arena The Third Man In (blog)



Fan Feedback

“I wanted to compliment you and your staff on a great job with the opener, as well as all the hard work on the arena.  The kids had a great time at the game (as usual), but what I thought was incredible, is how they couldn’t stop talking about the experience at the arena. The drive home to Germantown was a kid’s critique of the experience among each other, and it was fun to hear their thoughts.  From the new lights and use of them before the game (the Ad’s Blue) during the anthem (they kept talking about how it looked when everything went red), to when the team came on the ice, to when goals were scored. …What blew me away was the upgrades to the concourse. …Now, my goodness!  We absolutely got plenty to eat!  The food was great!  Within our group we had the BBQ Nachos, Chicken BLT, Loaded Dogs, Tacos, Cedar Crest Ice Cream, and the hot donuts.  Man, the kids loved it. …Long story short, again, great job by you and your group. We all came away very impressed, and certainly shared our thoughts with lots of people already.  Looking forward to getting back out for more games, and trying to bring more people with us.”
– Jeremy Grannan

Great place to go see a concert. I had an easy time getting in; no hassle.
– Stefanie King


Always a good time, great venue.
– Scott Drolshagen


Intimate feel, very fun place to see a game.
– Henry K.


Very historic and well maintained facility.
– Mr. Jenkins


A lot cleaner than (neighboring facility). Had a great time at the Admirals game. Will definitely go back
– Casey Kresnak


For an older venue it’s still pretty decent. The Admirals, Milwaukee Wave, Brewcity Bruisers, and UW-Milwaukee Panthers call it home. Concessions are at every corner. The Admirals have a South Goal Tap Room which is sizeable, and has about 8 beers on tap. Lakefront Stein beer is there as is Leinenkugels Admirals Ale, an exclusive for the Admirals. On the east side of the arena, there is a 500 sq ft memorabilia store for hats, shirts, etc. Traffic moves through the store well. Seating is comfortable and the venue is excellent for hockey.
– Dan Harvey


Saw Megadeth and Amon Amarth here. Seats were great. Sound was great. Show was amazing.
– Richard Smith


I really like the feel of this place. It is not the most modern of arenas, but it has what you need.
– Edmond Bedjeti


Improvement Details



LED Lighting in arena bowl

Best Scoreboard

HDTV Scoreboard installed in 2014


New permanent seating and rink-side risers


New dasherboard system and easy to cover arena deck


Brand new locker rooms, training rooms, and coaches’ offices

Exterior Updates:

  • New Daktronics LED digital signs – brighter, more colorful, more efficient, longer life
  • 52” 1080p HDTV video monitors flanking Kilbourn Avenue entrances


Interior – Front of House:

  • LED lighting in Arena bowl – brighter, more efficient, longer lamp life
    • Sports lighting – 120 instruments
    • Seat lighting – 20 instruments
    • Programmable color lighting and effects for enhanced fan experience
    • About $70,000 in projected annual energy savings
    • Almost 50% weight reduction for lighting = increased rigging capacity
  • Connectivity
    • WiFi service available throughout building including seating bowl, concourses and back of house
    • New & upgraded fiber optic cabling and connections for satellite uplinks/downlinks
  • Scoreboard (installed 2014)
    • Flexible scoring
    • Seamless wrap-around video
    • HDTV
  • Ice-making improvements
    • Reverse-osmosis water purifier (from Bradley Center) – improves ice consistency
    • New compressor and components added for backup ice-making
  • New seating
    • All 8,684 permanent seats replaced
    • Completed in three phases over three years (2014-2016)
    • New retractable seating risers at north end
    • New rink-side risers
  • Restroom improvements
    • Automatic flush – conserves water, reduces expenses
    • New plumbing fixtures, LED lighting, stall doors, and mirrors
    • New paint & finishes
  • Upgraded concession stands & operations
    • New counters, signage, menus, stainless-steel work counters
    • “Deli style” look to some stands
    • New specialty stands
    • “The Coop” in west (red) concourse – equipped with fryers for chicken & other fried foods
    • Southwestern Grille, Loaded Dogs, Milwaukee Sausage Co., Victory Grill, Palermo’s Pizza, Cedar Crest Ice Cream
    • New kitchen & upgraded food service “commissary”
    • Equipped with ranges, ovens, dishwashers, ventless range hoods
    • New beer coolers & beer lines
  • Expanded Fan Store
    • Hockey Rink & Dasherboards
      • All new dasherboard system
      • Arena Deck ice covering to easily allow for other events
  • Box Office
    • Original Box Office Lobby terrazzo floor restored and unveiled
    • Upper Box office refurbished – new finishes & LED lighting, terrazzo floor unveiled
    • State Street (north) Box Office reopened for Admirals games, UW Milwaukee student admissions


Interior – Back Of House:

  • New Admirals locker rooms, training rooms & coaches’ offices
    • LED lighting installed throughout
    • Separate dehumidifiers & ventilation to control odors
    • Refurbished/improved team locker rooms for UW Milwaukee Panthers & Milwaukee Wave
  • Refurbished/improved media room
    • New LED lighting
    • New flooring & finishes
    • New counters
  • Upgraded video production facilities