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Smokers roll with new Bucks ban on smoking

Posted at 5:26 PM, Jul 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-31 18:26:22-04

The Milwaukee Bucks announced they will make the 30-acre site, both inside and outside their new arena smoke-free.

The area encompasses the Sports Science Center, Fiserv Forum, the plaza outside, parking structure and streets.

The area is roughly from McKinley Street to State Street between 6th Street and Old World Third Street. The bars and restaurants on Old World Third Street are exempted from the ban. 

"It wasn't a difficult decision," Bucks President Peter Feigin said. "We just followed examples and took it to the entire boundaries of the district. How do we have a very health-minded community and neighborhood that's really open for everyone? For us, it's how do you build that neighborhood?"

For the smokers outside Tuesday, this is just another step for them. 

"It's disappointing because I should be able to smoke where I want to," TJ Carda of Milwaukee said. "I'm spending eight or nine dollars a pack for cigarettes."

"I'll just stand right there and smoke," Steven Deland of Chicago said. "I'll go right outside of the boundary you know? Right outside of the line. Not a big deal. No problem."

"People are still going to go to events at the Bucks arena regardless of that or not," Ben Lakis of Milwaukee said. 

The Bucks have signs around the area saying, "This is a non-smoking neighborhood." It won't be a law enforced by Milwaukee Police but rather, the Bucks security staff.

"It's over socializing what the rules are," Feigin said. "This is not getting arrested for smoking. It's the boundaries of a place having rules. We don't see this as an enforcement. We see it as kind of an environment we're trying to create."

All guest services personnel and security will kindly advise anyone who is smoking in the 30-acre district to put out the cigarette, cigar, e-cigarette or any other smoking product. Should anyone refuse, security will be called in to handle the situation.

This is all an effort for the Bucks to get a LEED Silver Certification. It requires no smoking within 25 feet of all entries. The Bucks will apply for certification upon completion of the arena and will know in the first quarter of 2019. 

"You're recognizing the importance of everyone around you and how to create an environment that's easily navigatable [sic], that's easy for everyone to understand what expectations are," Feigin said. "For us, it sets the groundwork for the messaging of why we want people to come down here."