Milwaukee's Fiserv Forum Opens With Diverse Live Music Lineup, Starting With The Killers

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Kenny Yoo/Courtesy of Milwaukee Bucks
Exterior of Fiserv Forum arena in Milwaukee, Wis.

The new home of the Milwaukee Bucks was "designed with touring shows in mind."

The Killers and Violent Femmes will perform the first concert tonight at Fiserv Forum, the Milwaukee Bucks' new $524 million, 17,500-seat sports and entertainment venue in downtown Milwaukee with dozens of concerts scheduled to follow.

"We are working to bring all kinds of music and shows to the city and prove that we can support all different types of touring shows and acts," explains Raj Saha, general manager of Fiserv Forum. "From hip hop to Latin, there's a lot of different genres that have skipped over the city in the past and we're setting out to show that Milwaukee is a great live music town and there is no shortage of genres that can work in this city."

The building has a busy month ahead with Kevin Hart (Sept. 13), Maroon 5 (Sept. 16), Justin Timberlake (Sept. 21) and Jim Gaffigan (Sept. 22). The building is trying its hand in the Latin space with J Balvin on Oct. 11, a string of rock shows starting Oct. 16 with Metallica followed the next night with the Foo Fighters an Oct. 18 show with the Eagles and then the Twenty One Pilots two nights later; and its first country concert with Chris Young on Oct. 26. 

"This building was designed with touring shows in mind," Saha tells Billboard, noting that everything from load-in spaces to artists quarters and green rooms has been designed to maximize comfort and usability for touring shows. 

Fiserv Forum is also an NBA facility and officially starts the season on Oct. 19 in the Bucks first opener against the Indiana Pacer. Saja said besides basketball, the building will be booked year-round with concerts, festivals and even an annual winter events with details to be announced soon. In total, Fiserv Forum is expected to host 200 events per year, at a capacity of 18,000 seats for concerts and 34 suites, all of which have been sold out.

The​ Fiserv Forum will also serve as a new town square for Milwaukee, anchoring a 30-acre development owned and controlled by Bucks owners Wes Edens, Marc Lasry, Jamie Dinan and Mike Fascitelli. Developers are planning an expansive public entry plaza in front of the arena connectinga new entertainment block, which will include Punch Bowl Social, Good City Brewing and more, making it the largest development project ever undertaken in downtown Milwaukee.

The venue is also planning to launch a new culinary program called MKEat that sells local food and Wisconsin-brewed beer, reflecting Milwaukee's rich brewing history. Created by Levy and the Bucks, the soon-to-be announced menu will consist of made-to-order dishes designed by the venue's senior executive chef, Kenneth Hardiman and includes 17 free-standing kitchens, dedicated pizza ovens and a wood-fired smoker capable of handling up to 3,000 pounds of meat.

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