In the 1970s, the rust-belt city of Milwaukee used public funds to commission an eccentric, openly gay artist from the Bowery in New York City to paint the Bucks basketball floor. In 1988, the Bucks moved across the street to the newly constructed Bradley Center -- leaving the MECCA Arena floor in storage, all but forgotten by the general public.
Fast-forward 25 years -- Bucks fan Andy Gorzalski, discovers the floor for sale for scrap, listed online as a "gym floor." Against better judgment, Andy puts his family's credit card down for $20k to protect this iconic symbol of Milwaukee and basketball history. Over the next year, Andy and another fan, Ben Kohler, team up with Robert Indiana to re-construct and re-exhibit the floor -- serving as the inspiration for the Milwaukee Bucks to redesign a new home court floor for their '13-14 NBA season based on the original MECCA design.
Aired: 11 Jun 2014