Marquette considered building new arena, sources say


Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Marquette considered leaving Fiserv Forum (above) for its own construction project on a downtown arena, according to sources who wished to remain confidential.

Marquette reportedly considered building a basketball arena just east of campus instead of playing in Fiserv Forum, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Friday.

The proposed facility, spanning from North 6th Street to North 10th Street and from Clybourn to Michigan Avenue, would’ve housed Marquette men’s and women’s basketball, the Journal Sentinel reported. Wintrust Financial Corporation and subsidiary Town Bank, who recently built a branch inside the Alumni Memorial Union, would’ve had the naming rights.

The exploration of building a new arena came earlier this year, months after Marquette and the Bucks agreed to a seven-year lease lasting through the 2024-’25 season.

The information came from anonymous sources who wished not to be identified in the Journal Sentinel’s story.

University leadership axed the project when it became clear the project would’ve “taken (the university’s) focus from higher-priority projects,” the Journal Sentinel reported, such as a new business school down the road.

Men’s basketball head coach Steve Wojciechowski was previously complimentary of Fiserv Forum, describing it as “the best basketball building in America.”

University spokesperson Lynn Sheka did not confirm or deny the reported project in an emailed statement.

“Marquette University greatly values our partnership with the Milwaukee Bucks and Fiserv Forum,” Sheka said in an email. “The Milwaukee Bucks are a great partner, and we are proud to call the NBA’s premier arena the home of Marquette University men’s basketball.”