The 108-year-old Milwaukee Theatre in downtown Milwaukee will now be known as “Miller High Life Theatre” under a five-year naming rights sponsorship agreement between MillerCoors and the Wisconsin Center District.
[caption id="attachment_166786" align="alignright" width="361"] The Milwaukee Theatre in downtown Milwaukee will be renamed the Miller High Life Theatre under a sponsorship agreement with MillerCoors.[/caption]
MillerCoors and the Wisconsin Center District signed the naming-rights agreement in January 2016, which will give the district $350,000 per year, or $1.75 million over the life of the five year deal.
Russell Staerkel, president and CEO of the district, which operates the Milwaukee Theatre, confirmed the new name on Thursday.
"We felt this was an ideal fit, for just like the theater, Miller High Life also enjoys a deep history in Milwaukee that is more than a century old," MillerCoors spokesman Marty Maloney said in an email. "And just as the theater prides themselves as one of the largest and most elegant destinations in Wisconsin, High Life takes pride in being a Wisconsin-born brand that represents a timeless elegance."
To display the new sponsorship and name for the theater, the Wisconsin Center District has filed an application to build two free-standing signs, at a cost of $54,026, south of the Milwaukee Theatre, 500 W. Kilbourn Ave. The city’s Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee will review the sign application next month.
In 2001, the Wisconsin Center District made a $41.9 million investment to transform the Milwaukee Auditorium into a modern assembly, concert and theatrical venue. Following a two-year construction project, the building reopened in November of 2003 as the Milwaukee Theatre with 4,087 seats.
Between $24 million and $25 million still is owed by the Wisconsin Center District on the Milwaukee Theatre for the 2003 renovation project, which will be paid off in approximately 2032.
BizTimes reporter Arthur Thomas contributed to this report.