Taxpayers covered about half the $524 million bill for Fiserv Forum.
When the Bucks sold state and city officials on a new arena, a public plaza outside was a large part of the vision.
The team hoped a vibrant, gathering space for the community would benefit more people than just basketball fans.
With one Bucks season in the books, team officials believe the now-fittingly named Deer District is working as planned.
"I think this played out exactly how we hoped," said Michael Belot, a senior vice president with the Milwaukee Bucks. "This became the place to be in Milwaukee."
Of course, the Deer District was filled with die-hard Bucks fans. But Belot thinks some of the people who flocked to the plaza for NBA playoff games were casual fans just looking to soak in the experience.
"I think what really worked well was just bringing all these people together and generating so much excitement," Belot said.
"It's something we want to turn into a destination during Bucks games but also all year-round," he added.
Belot said the Bucks will work hard to do that this summer by offering free fitness classes in the Deer District.
"I think this played out exactly how we hoped. This became the place to be in Milwaukee." — Michael Belot, senior vice president with the Milwaukee Bucks
Other activities on the schedule include festivals and free movies.
"Certainly, we're not going to have 10 to 15,000 people here over the summer, but we're going to continually provide free programming," Belot said.