Major improvements planned for Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame’s Walk of Fame in downtown Milwaukee

Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame's Walk of Fame.

Last updated on April 14th, 2023 at 02:57 pm

The Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame announced today that it is planning major upgrades to its Walk of Fame in downtown Milwaukee.

The improvements will include a marquee 16-foot by 10-foot LED board, bleacher seating, football turf for kids to play on, as well as towering back-light pillars that sit above existing columns. If approved by the city, the LED screen could show videos, with audio, celebrating the inductees in the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame and great moments in Wisconsin sports.

The Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame was founded in 1951. There are about 150 inductees into the Hall of Fame, including Wisconsin sports icons like Hank Aaron, Brett Favre, Eric Heiden, Vince Lombardi, Curly Lambeau, Al McGuire, Paul Molitor, Bart Starr and Robin Yount.

Each inductee in the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame is recognized with a plaque on the Wisconsin Athletic Walk of Fame, located along the Vel R. Phillips Avenue sidewalk on the east side of the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, just south of the Deer District and just north of the convention center, in downtown Milwaukee.

Now the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame wants to greatly improve its Walk of Fame, enhancing it as a downtown Milwaukee destination. Milwaukee-based architecture firm RINKA was hired to come up with the design concept for the project. The project will be privately funded, according to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame.

The cost of the project will likely by a little more than $1 million, said Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame executive director Brian Lammi. The announcement about the project essentially kicks-off fundraising efforts for the project. The Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame hopes the project will increase awareness and appreciation in the community for the Walk of Fame, Lammi said.

Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame wants to have the project complete in time for the 2024 Republican National Convention, which will be held in Milwaukee in July of next year. The project needs approval of the Wisconsin Center District.

“We could not be more excited to reinvent the Wisconsin Athletic Walk of Fame, and this design concept is an important milestone in that process” said Lammi. “Downtown Milwaukee is exploding with new developments, especially the immediate area surrounding the Wisconsin Athletic Walk of Fame. We want to level-up this walkway as well, creating a gathering space for our local community and visitors that celebrates the iconic, historic Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame.”

As a proud design partner of the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, RINKA has been collaborating with (former Green Bay Packer and Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame inductee) Donald Driver, Brian Lammi, the Hall of Fame Board, and the Wisconsin Center District to envision an exciting future for the existing Hall of Fame walkway,” said RINKA CEO Matt Rinka. “With the belief that the existing installation has the potential to do much more to honor inductees, we have established project goals to make selective, yet impactful improvements, based on a vision to reinvigorate the existing walkway.”

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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