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UW–Milwaukee Panther Arena, originally Milwaukee Arena and later MECCA Arena, Wisconsin Center Arena, and U.S. Cellular Arena, is an indoor arena, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The arena, which seats as many as 12,700 people and offers 41,000 feet of floor space, is part of a larger downtown campus, that includes the Milwaukee Theatre and Frontier Airlines Center.

The arena was part of the MECCA Complex (The Milwaukee Exposition Convention Center and Arena) from 1974 until the 1995 opening of the Frontier Airlines Center.

History

It opened in 1950 and was one of the first to accommodate the needs of broadcast television. It was folded into the MECCA complex when it opened in 1974. It is also known for its former unique basketball court painted by Robert Indiana in 1978, with large rainbow 'M's taking up both half-courts representing Milwaukee.

It was home to the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA from 1968-1988, and hosted the 1977 NBA All-Star Game before an audience of 10,938. The venue was also home to Marquette University's men's basketball team along with the International Hockey League Milwaukee Admirals. These teams all moved to the BMO Harris Bradley Center upon the newer arena's opening in 1988.

In 1994, the Wisconsin Center District (WCD), a state organization, was created in order to fund the Midwest Airlines Center, and, in 1995 the MECCA complex was folded into this, including the Arena (the BMO Harris Bradley Center is owned by a separate authority). Following a major overhaul in 1998, the arena is now home to the Milwaukee Wave of the Major Indoor Soccer League (including the 2006 MISL All-Star game) and is the Milwaukee venue for Disney on Ice. It has also hosted professional wrestling events, including WCW SuperBrawl II in 1992, WWF King of the Ring 1996, WCW Clash of the Champions in 1997, WWF Over the Edge in 1998 and WCW Mayhem in 2000. It was at the forementioned King Of The Ring card where "Stone Cold" Steve Austin first uttered his now-famous "Austin 3:16" catchphrase.

The WCD added the Wisconsin Athletic Walk of Fame alongside the U.S. Cellular Arena in 2001. At the end of this public promenade is a Wisconsin Historical Marker noting the location where Christopher Sholes invented the first practical typewriter, featuring the QWERTY keyboard layout.

As the MECCA, the building hosted the 1984 NCAA Mideast first and second round games. The U.S. Cellular Arena also hosted all or part of every Horizon League men's basketball conference tournament from 2003-2011.

In 2008 and 2009, it was home to the Milwaukee Bonecrushers of the Continental Indoor Football League. [1]

On August 7, 2010, the arena hosted an Arena Football League playoff game between the Milwaukee Mustangs and the Chicago Rush. The Iron played its 2010 regular season home games at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, but the ongoing installation of the new center court scoreboard in that venue forced the home playoff games to be played at the U.S. Cellular Arena, where the Milwaukee Mustangs would go on to win.

It is also home to the Brewcity Bruisers roller derby league.

The arena has been home to the Milwaukee Panthers men's basketball team at three different times—first from 1993-1998, then from 2003-2012, and most recently since 2013. In June 2012, UW-Milwaukee's athletic director, Andy Geiger, announced that the Panthers would be moving back to their on-campus arena, Klotsche Center, coordinating with the University's lease with the building district being expired.[3] However, after Amanda Braun became the Panthers' new athletic director in March 2013, she revisited the decision to leave the downtown arena, and the Panthers signed a new contract to return in 2013–14.

U.S. Cellular did not renew its naming rights contract when it expired in 2014. UWM stepped in, signing a 10-year sponsorship deal with an additional 5-year option, and the facility was accordingly renamed UW–Milwaukee Panther Arena. The current contract not only makes the arena the Panthers men's basketball home, but also makes it the official venue for major university events such as graduations, a role it had fulfilled for years before the 2014 contract.[4]

Concerts

Milwaukee Bonecrushers' Quarterback Ryan Maiuri taking a snap against the Chicago Slaughter on March 21, 2008 at U.S. Cellular Arena.

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  • The Beatles - September 4, 1964
  • The Beach Boys - May 14, 1966, with The Chieftones and The Sir Douglas Quintet, December 4, 1973, with The New Riders of the Purple Sage and October 29, 1978
  • The Doors - November 1, 1968
  • Led Zeppelin - August 31, 1970 and July 10, 1973
  • The Grand Funk Railroad - December 23, 1970
  • Ten Years After - August 19, 1971
  • Fleetwood Mac - October 20, 1971, with Frank Zappa and Rory Gallagher, August 15, 1975 and June 24, 1976
  • Jethro Tull - June 6, 1972, September 15, 1973, October 27, 1975, November 14, 1977, April 19, 1979, October 18, 1980, with Whitesnake and December 2, 1987
  • Elvis Presley & The TCB Band - June 14-15, 1972, June 28, 1974 and April 27, 1977
  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer - August 11, 1972, with Wishbone Ash, August 5, 1977 and October 22, 1986
  • The Osmonds - August 21, 1972 and June 24, 1977
  • Yes - September 24, 1972, with The Eagles, August 17, 1976, September 1, 1977, April 26, 1979, March 10, 1984 and November 24, 1987
  • The Moody Blues - October 28, 1972
  • Frank Zappa - May 11, 1973, with The Mothers of Invention and September 26, 1978
  • Alice Cooper - May 31, 1973, August 25, 1977, March 6, 1979 and February 10, 1987, with Megadeth
  • Deep Purple - June 10, 1973 and December 11, 1974, with Elf and The Electric Light Orchestra
  • T. Rex - July 20, 1973
  • David Bowie - October 13, 1974, February 20, 1976 and March 24, 1978
  • Jefferson Starship - November 14-15, 1974 and July 1, 1976
  • Bachman–Turner Overdrive - April 7, 1975, with Thin Lizzy and Bob Seger
  • Uriah Heep - August 24, 1975, with Blue Öyster Cult
  • The Doobie Brothers - September 26, 1975, with The Outlaws
  • The Allman Brothers Band - November 18, 1975, with Muddy Waters
  • Aerosmith - November 21, 1975, July 8, 1976 and October 5, 1977, with The Brownsville Station
  • KISS - February 4, 1976, February 1-2, 1977, with Uriah Heep, September 24, 1979, February 10 and December 30, with Queensrÿche, 1984, January 20, 1986 and January 7, 1988
  • Wishbone Ash - March 19, 1976
  • ZZ Top - September 14, 1976, with The J. Geils Band and October 1, 1982
  • Foghat - November 26, 1976, February 16, 1978 and March 29, 1983, with Triumph
  • Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - February 22, 1977, June 9 and November 27, 1978 and October 14, 1980
  • Blue Öyster Cult - October 24, 1977, with Black Oak Arkansas and Prism
  • Kansas - November 28, 1977, with Crawler and November 3, 1980
  • Electric Light Orchestra - August 15, 1978 and November 2, 1981, with Hall & Oates
  • Black Sabbath - August 27, 1978, with Van Halen and October 9, 1980, with Blue Öyster Cult (Riot ensued after Geezer Butler was hit by a bottle)
  • Billy Joel - October 15, 1978
  • John Denver - November 2, 1978, June 18, 1982 and December 3, 1993
  • Rush - December 7, 1978, with Golden Earring, April 17-19, 1980, March 2, 1981, with Max Webster, October 9, 1982, with Rory Gallagher, June 25, 1984, March 24, 1986, with Marillion and April 5, 1988, with The Rainmakers
  • Boston - March 31, 1979, with Sammy Hagar
  • Diana Ross - April 25, 1979
  • Van Halen - August 21, 1979, April 14, 1980, July 2, 1981 and August 16, 1982
  • Rick James - April 7, 1980, with Prince
  • Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band - May 21, 1980
  • Genesis - June 7, 1980, November 16, 1981 and November 10, 1983
  • Def Leppard - June 14, 1980, November 5, 1987, November 16, 1992 and March 29, 2002
  • Heart - July 25, 1980
  • Queen - September 10, 1980, with Dakota
  • Styx - June 9-10, 1981 and May 23, 1983
  • The Jacksons - August 26, 1981
  • Bob Dylan - October 16-17, 1981, October 30, 1999, with Phil Lesh and Friends and October 28, 2001
  • AC/DC - November 17, 1981
  • Prince - December 26, 1981, with The Time and April 7, 1983, with The Time and Vanity 6
  • Barry Manilow - October 20, 1982
  • The Who - December 7, 1982
  • Phil Collins - February 3, 1983
  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - March 14, 1983, with Nick Lowe & His Noise To Go and March 5, 1995, with Pete Droge
  • REO Speedwagon - May 3, 1983
  • Robert Plant - August 31, 1983, June 1, 1988 and November 9, 1993
  • Talking Heads - January 25, 1984
  • The Police - February 20, 1984
  • Scorpions - February 26, 1984, with Dokken
  • Tina Turner - September 14, 1984 and September 14, 1985
  • Ratt - November 4, 1984, with Billy Squier and February 1, 1989
  • Iron Maiden - December 19, 1984, with Twisted Sister and March 8, 1987, with Bon Jovi
  • Giuffria - February 18, 1985
  • R.E.M. - August 6, 1985
  • Mötley Crüe - October 30, 1985, October 17, 1997 and March 12, 2005
  • The Motels - November 1, 1985, with Rick Springfield
  • Ozzy Osbourne - April 6, 1986, with Metallica
  • Journey - September 26, 1986, with Glass Tiger and June 15, 2003, with Styx and REO Speedwagon
  • Emerson, Lake & Powell - October 22, 1986
  • The Beastie Boys - March 16, 1987, with Fishbone, May 22, 1995 and August 11, 1998, with A Tribe Called Quest and Money Mark
  • Roger Waters - November 13, 1987
  • Dio - February 22, 1988, with Megadeth and Savatage
  • Metallica - November 22, 1988, with Queensrÿche
  • The Grateful Dead - April 15-16, 1989
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble and Jeff Beck - October 27, 1989
  • Queensrÿche - March 11 and May 11, 1991 and April 29, 1995
  • Bryan Adams - November 14, 1992
  • Nirvana - October 26, 1993, with Jawbreaker and Mudhoney
  • Tupac Shakur - September 3, 1994
  • Nine Inch Nails - January 18, 1995, with Pop Will Eat Itself and The Jim Rose Circus and April 18, 2000, with A Perfect Circle
  • Our Lady Peace - November 3, 1995
  • White Zombie - November 11, 1995
  • Bush - April 19, 1996, with No Doubt and The Goo Goo Dolls
  • The Stone Temple Pilots - December 13, 1996 and October 9, 2000, with Godsmack and Disturbed
  • 311 - August 14, 1997, with Michael Franti & Spearhead
  • Pantera - January 31, 1998, with Anthrax and Coal Chamber
  • The Family Values Tour - October 2, 1998
  • Creed - October 16, 1999, with Our Lady Peace
  • Matchbox 20 - February 28, 2001, with Everclear and Lifehouse and May 3, 2003
  • The Guess Who - October 3, 2001, with Joe Cocker
  • Ray Charles - November 4, 2001
  • Tool - September 1, 2002, with Meshuggah
  • Alan Jackson - February 1, 2003
  • Martina McBride - December 20, 2003
  • Green Day - November 9, 2004, with My Chemical Romance
  • Josh Groban - February 19, 2005
  • Judas Priest - October 1, 2005, with Anthrax and Hatebreed
  • Brad Paisley - January 27, 2006, with Sara Evans and Billy Currington and August 24, 2007
  • Fall Out Boy - April 18, 2006, with The All-American Rejects, Hawthorne Heights and From First to Last
  • The Milwaukee Blues Festival - February 29, 2008 and February 18, 2011
  • The Powerade Jam Festival - March 24, 2008
  • André Rieu - April 16, 2008
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - November 2, 2008, with The Beastie Boys, Tenacious D and Relentless7
  • The Cheetah Girls - December 5, 2008, with Clique Girlz
  • Gucci Mane - September 21, 2009
  • Matthew West - January 17, 2010
  • Daughtry - April 7, 2010, with Cavo and Lifehouse
  • Kid Cudi - September 10, 2010, with The Shiny Toy Guns
  • Rick Ross - December 16, 2010
  • Skillet - March 4, 2011, with Superchick and Flame
  • The Old School Music Festival - May 7, 2011
  • T-Pain - November 26, 2011
  • New Edition - June 8, 2012

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References

External links

Template:S-start-collapsible |- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Wharton Field House |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Home of the
Milwaukee Hawks

1951 – 1955 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
Kiel Auditorium |- |- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
first arena |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Home of the
Milwaukee Bucks

1968 – 1988 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
Bradley Center |- |- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
The Spectrum |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Host of the
NBA All-Star Game

1977 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
Omni Coliseum |-

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