SBD/September 18, 2013/Facilities

Bucks Go Retro With Court Design Paying Homage To '70s MECCA Floor

The Bucks have designed a new court "with a throwback touch," as it "borrows elements from Pop artist Robert Indiana's much-heralded 1977 MECCA floor," according to Mary Louise Schumacher of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. The design "will be unveiled at the Milwaukee Art Museum" on Sept. 24 and will be "on the court in time for some preseason games in October." Indiana's court in '77 "made headlines and captured national attention." The new floor "draws enough elements from Indiana's original design that the team sought his blessing." Bucks Senior VP & Chief Revenue Officer Theodore Loehrke said the new floor will position Milwaukee as a city "that cares as much about art as it does about sport." Schumacher reports designing the new court "involved months of wrangling with the NBA, setting aside the idea of working with a local artist, and a drive through the night to get the permission of an aging and reclusive artist." The old floor, which the Bucks and Marquette Univ. "abandoned in 1988 when they moved to the then-new Bradley Center, was put up for auction" in '10. The idea of "doing something like the original MECCA floor was floated early on in the brainstorming process among the design and marketing teams for the Bucks." Loehrke said that with NBA games televised internationally today, the league has "become pretty fussy about what these floors look like." Schumacher writes the Bucks in the end "came up with something that is inspired by and that pays homage to Indiana's floor." But that "introduced another hurdle -- they needed the artist's approval" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 9/18).
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