Major renovations are planned for the Miller Lite Oasis at Henry Maier Festival Park and will be complete in time for the 50th edition of Summerfest in 2017, Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. officials announced.
The project is part of the renewal of MillerCoors' sponsorship agreement with Summerfest. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
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"MillerCoors has been part of the Milwaukee fabric for more than 150 years. As one of our hometown markets, we will continue to invest in Milwaukee and are proud to support one of the greatest music festivals in the country,” said James T. Wright III, general manager of Wisconsin for Chicago-based MillerCoors.
The renovation of the Miller Lite Oasis will include a redesigned stage. The facade of the new stage will incorporate design elements reflective of the historic Miller Brewery and Miller Valley in Milwaukee. The new design also will offer improved sight lines by eliminating visual obstructions for a better viewing experience, officials say.
The Miller Lite Oasis renovation project will also include a new Miller Lite Brew House bar, which will be a covered side stage bar. The Brew House will have the capacity to feature exclusive beverage offerings and enhanced opportunities for front row access through MillerCoors promotions, officials said.
Other improvements planned for the Miller Lite Oasis renovation project include: an expansion of the MillerCoors hospitality deck, a new elevated viewing deck with a first floor bar, upgrades to all other bar areas to provide better access and accommodations, video screen upgrades and a reconfigured marketplace and Summerfest retail store.
The upgraded shopping areas will offer improved patron amenities and access, officials say. The marketplace and Summerfest store improvements will be funded by Milwaukee World Festival.
This will be the first major upgrade to the Miller Lite Oasis since 2006. Milwaukee-based Eppstein Uhen Architects is the design firm for the project and Brookfield-based Hunzinger Construction Company is the general contractor.
"We are absolutely thrilled to once again renew our partnership and work with MillerCoors to renovate and upgrade the Miller Lite Oasis,” said Don Smiley, president and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. “Their generous contribution to the project reinforces their commitment to Milwaukee, Summerfest and music fans everywhere. Together, we will transform the live performance venue with an exciting new look and a thrilling experience for fans, artists and our community alike. MillerCoors’ sponsorship of the ethnic festivals, Summerfest and Henry Maier Festival Park is grounded in community support, which they have consistently proven over a long period of time.”
In a BizTimes Milwaukee cover story earlier this year, Smiley said major improvements are being planned for the middle and northern sections of the festival grounds. Smiley also told BizTimes that Milwaukee World Festival is working on preliminary plans to replace the Marcus Amphitheater, the main stage at the Summerfest grounds.
The project is subject to the review and approval by the City of Milwaukee, Board of Harbor Commissioners.