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Copyright 2018 The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


One important test must be passed before the Milwaukee Bucks take occupancy of the $524 million arena: The big flush.

"We have to literally flush the building," said Mike Sorge, project director for Mortenson Construction. "We will do the 'super flush' to make sure the water pressure is adequate."

The arena has about 900 bathroom fixtures, and the water pressure test is necessary to make sure the building functions well during a half-time crunch or intermission at a sold-out concert.

It's just one of many items on the final to-do list that the Bucks and Mortenson are running through as construction of the arena nears completion. Work is about 90% complete and the Bucks say they're on track to open in late summer.

That "punch list" includes the Bucks signing off on the final installation of fixtures and making sure that the finishes are to the team's liking, Sorge said.

"It's a continual process until we get to the point where the list has nothing on it," he said during a media tour earlier this week.

A Sept. 13 performance by comedian Kevin Hart is the earliest date announced for the new arena. The Bucks plan a number of events - as yet unannounced - before that show.

"I'm thinking we're going to heat this place up in mid-August," said Bucks President Peter Feigin.

One important unknown is the date of the first regular season Bucks game in the building. The NBA has not released its 2018-'19 schedule.

The Bucks expect to take occupancy in July and need to run through technical testing to ensure that everything is in order for television broadcasts, Feigin said.

"We'll need to do some dry runs with the television crews," he said.

The arena is being constructed with $250 million in public support.

Other details from the latest tour:

All but two of 34 luxury suites have been sold. The suites were sold for $200,000 to $300,000 per year with multiple-year leases required.

Technical work continues on the massive new scoreboard. During the tour it was suspended several feet off the arena floor, allowing workers easy access inside. For concerts, the scoreboard can be parked out of the way high in the rafters.

The arena has five retail shops, including one tucked into the northwest corner of the main concourse that has large windows overlooking that part of the city.

All but a few hundred seats have been installed. Workers were busy setting up banks of retractable seats that will be behind each basket and along the sidelines.

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April 7, 2018


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