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Inside the Integration at Milwaukee’s New Fiserv Forum Sports & Entertainment Complex

Since it’s opening in August of 2018, Fiserv Forum has quickly become home to many passionate Milwaukee Bucks basketball fans. Yet, aside from the on-court product, the new entertainment and sports center in downtown Milwaukee is an integrated facility, working to enhance fan experience, comfort and safety. I was able to tour the Fiserv Forum and I saw the fruits of the integration efforts.

As the Official “Smart Building” Partner of Fiserv Forum, Johnson Controls had the opportunity to work alongside the Milwaukee Bucks and their partners with the intent to create a venue that has fans lining up to attend sporting events, concerts and more in an environment unlike any other. The total integration of systems is designed to make for a safe, comfortable and immersive fan experience. Johnson Controls’ building, business and specialty systems is deployed on a unified, intelligent infrastructure including HVAC, building automation, security, lighting, fire protection and information technology. By simplifying and optimizing how the building functions, Johnson Controls enabled more control for the Bucks to operate the arena, at the same time still focusing on delivering a superior fan experience.

The Milwaukee Entertainment & Sports Center is the centerpiece of an ambitious development project spearheaded by Bucks ownership to transform 27-acres of mostly vacant property into a vibrant retail and entertainment district in the heart of downtown Milwaukee with the 714,000 square foot arena as a focal point that is home to Milwaukee Bucks basketball and countless sports and entertainment events. The arena was designed by Populous, Eppstein Uhen and HNTB, with Mortenson leading the construction of the project.

Peter Feigin, Milwaukee Bucks president noted, “Our ownership group committed to building an arena that is the gold standard for a sports and entertainment facility while also driving additional development and community growth throughout the region. We wouldn’t have been able to accomplish those goals without the partnership and support of Johnson Controls. Together with our partners we built an incredible arena and an incredible future for our home city,”

 


714,000 square foot arena as a focal point that is home to Milwaukee Bucks basketball and countless sports and entertainment events

This project was done in the spirit of Design Builds to deliver the greatest value and functionality to the owner. Johnson Controls was engaged at the earliest stage of the process as technology contractor working closely with the Bucks organization, Mortenson Construction, ICON Venue Group and numerous subcontractors to furnish, install and integrate state-of-the-art smart building solutions throughout the new facility. The team certainly achieved the goals of an immersive fan experience in an integrated facility that is comfortable and safe.

System Scope
Johnson Controls personnel described how the company took responsibility for the entire technology application engineering and integration process, which included design, implementation, commissioning, and optimization. This coordinated effort with the Milwaukee Bucks organization and other contractors worked to use project dollars more effectively, reduce risk, prioritize technology requirements now and in the future, and deliver an environment that augments the in-arena fan experience without sacrificing venue sustainability and operational excellence.

 


The control center is the eyes and ears the keeps pulse on all operations including environmental, fire, and security. Video pattern recognizing software alerts operators automatically to suspicious activity from over 365 HD cameras. For example software recognizes suspicious activity such as someone setting down a bag and leaving it and alerts operators.

Read more about the Johnson Controls scope here.

Highlights of Fiserv Forum
These innovative and integrated technologies provide a combination of safety, security, sustainability, and connectedness that maximizes both the fan experience and building performance for Fiserv Forum, creating a singular entertainment experience.

Cameras positioned throughout the space stream footage to the video production studio where it can be pushed out in real-time to the major networks and/or displayed with clarity throughout the venue and on the new center-hung, full HD scoreboard—one of the top scoreboards in size in the NBA. The scoreboard and ribbon board ride on the converged enterprise-grade network, along with speakers surrounding the scoreboard, suspended from the rafters inside the seating bowl, ensuring seamless content management and delivery.

Cisco Vision gives operators at Fiserv Forum the ability to customize the color scheme, content and branding of information that is displayed on 840+ hi-definition IPTVs throughout Fiserv Forum. The displays deliver live feeds, analytics, promotions, advertisements, entertainment and communications—extending the experience for fans and creating revenue-generating opportunities for event sponsors.

Johnson Controls’ building, business and vertical market systems are managed on a unified, intelligent infrastructure, including HVAC, building automation, security, lighting, fire protection and information technology. By simplifying and optimizing how the building functions, Johnson Controls enables more control for the Bucks to operate the arena, while at the same time delivering a superior fan experience.

Johnson Controls is also partnering with the team and the Milwaukee Bucks Foundation on additional initiatives aimed at building a safer, healthier and more vibrant community for Milwaukee residents, not just in and around the new arena, but throughout the city.

 

Bill Lydon
Automation.com