Formerly known as Milwaukee's MECCA Arena, the U.S. Cellular Arena (The Cell) is a 12,700 capacity venue hosting both musical and sports events as well as ceremonies and assemblies. For many decades, the MECCA was synonymous with first-rate entertainment in downtown Milwaukee.
The U.S. Cellular Arena stands where it was originally built in 1950. In 1998, a $10.5 million renovation brought the Arena up to date technologically and addressed needs of patrons and productions. Updates to the U.S. Cellular Arena included a new video scoreboard, refurbished seats, wider concourses, and better lighting as well as a few new coats of paint. In 2000, ice-making capabilities were restored at the U.S. Cellular Arena allowing for both hockey and ice shows to return to the Arena. A new basketball floor was also added to the list of U.S. Cellular Arena's improvements in 2001.
The U.S. Cellular Arena, as it has been referred to for the last decade, is a historically rich part of the Milwaukee landscape. The Beatles made a stop to the Arena back in September of 1964. Prior to moving across the street to the Bradley Center in 1988, the Milwaukee Bucks played in the U.S. Cellular Arena for 20 years on a court painted by famous pop art movement artist Robert Indiana. While the basketball court of the U.S. Cellular Arena has since been changed, the two famous large "Mís" covering each half court is to be remembered. In fact, the Wisconsin Center District put this piece of art history up for sale.
With no obstructed-view seats, and very little wasted space, the noise created by home-town fans can be deafening to the visiting team. The UW Milwaukee men's basketball team can attest to this, as they have benefited in recent years from the boisterous fans. The U.S. Cellular Arena is their home court... and recent additions to the U.S. Cellular Arena's basketball court prove it. In 2004, UW Milwaukee's Panther logo and black and gold color scheme was added to the floor as well as to other areas of the Arena.
The U.S. Cellular Arena is particularly rich with basketball history. The Milwaukee Bucks celebrated the 1971 NBA title in the building where the U.S. Cellular Arena stands. Several years later in the same storied building, the Marquette Warriors lead by legendary coach Al McGuire won the 1977 NCAA National Men's Basketball Championship.
MISL's Milwaukee Wave also calls the U.S. Cellular Arena home. The major league indoor soccer team celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2003-04 by starting the season in their new home, the U.S. Cellular Arena.
The U.S. Cellular remains popular today as a favorite mid-sized concert venue among fans and performers alike. Recent bands to play concerts at the Arena include Fall Out Boy, Bob Dylan, Green Day and Motley Crue.
No visit to the U.S. Cellular Arena is complete without viewing The Wisconsin Athletic Walk of Fame, which sits on a promenade just outside the storied walls on the east side of the U.S. Cellular Arena.
U.S. Cellular Arena
400 W. Kilbourn Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53203