Local company creates replica "MECCA" court for Bucks game
When the Milwaukee Bucks decided to celebrate their 50th anniversary with a return to the MECCA, they knew they needed the iconic Robert Indiana floor.
But the NBA had other ideas.
"Unfortunately, the court itself is 50 years old," says Chief Marketing Officer Dustin Godsey. "They weren't really persuaded by our arguments that for authenticity we needed it."
So the Bucks turned to plan b, and reached out to ProStar Surfaces, the Milwaukee company that paints the Bradley Center floor.
"I got a call one day, and they asked what we could do, and how we could do it," says President Hal Koller. "Of course, we wanted to be a part of it."
Koller's team spent the next few weeks matching paint samples by hand, making sure the new floor completely matched the original version.
Unlike a typical gym floor, the MECCA design covers the entire court.
"It took us about two and a half weeks to complete the whole process," says Koller. "We started with a clean pallet, and of course had to paint the entire floor, so the layout was more significant than usual."
The final product is being secretly stored in a downtown high school. Monday morning, they'll load it into a truck and begin installing it at the UW-M Panther Arena.
Koller says the replica court will be used for just one game, but he says the memories it will bring back are well worth it.
"It's a one game wonder," he says. "This experience is certainly in the top few things in my life."
"We really couldn't have imagined doing a game in this building and not using that court design," says Godsey. "Hopefully we'll get a lot of that karma to come back to us."
The court will likely be sanded down and sent to Oshkosh for the Bucks d-league affiliate, the Herd to use.