Bucks arena, its funding plan to be discussed during town hall meeting in Milwaukee Tuesday

MILWAUKEE -- The proposed Milwaukee Bucks arena in downtown Milwaukee and its funding plan will be key issues discussed during a town hall meeting on Tuesday, July 14th in Milwaukee.

The town hall meeting is being hosted by Alderman Robert Bauman, and will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Milwaukee Public Library's Centennial Hall on N. 8th Street.

Alderman Bauman said Mayor Tom Barrett is scheduled to participate in the meeting, and will deliver a presentation on the proposal to build a new arena (and proposed ancillary development) on the northern edge of downtown in the 4th Aldermanic District.

Other matters likely to be discussed include licensing related to gentlemen’s clubs and public safety issues.

“With the arena proposal likely coming before the Common Council soon for review, this meeting will provide a prime opportunity for residents to find out details and ask questions,” said Alderman Bauman.

Meanwhile, Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow is pledging his support to a new arena in downtown Milwaukee. He issued this statement to FOX6 News:

“I am in a unique position serving as both the Waukesha County Executive, and, for a few more days, as a State Senator representing the 33rd Senate District.  I am working on behalf of state taxpayers to ensure a solid return on their investment, and as County Executive, I believe that an investment of this magnitude in our region benefits all of us.

In the coming days, all members of the Wisconsin State Legislature will have the opportunity to vote up or down on providing assistance for a new arena in downtown Milwaukee that will be home not only to the Milwaukee Bucks, but many other civic, cultural and commercial activities for decades to come.

We have this opportunity before us because of the investment that the owners of the Milwaukee Bucks, both past and present, have already made in our community.  Their commitment to Milwaukee, southeastern Wisconsin and the entire state should be commended.  Others, like Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, with whom I have already had discussions about regional economic development and job creation, also understand the importance of working across political aisles and ignoring municipal boundaries if it means we can grow our economy and improve our quality of life in Wisconsin.

I strongly encourage all legislators, especially those in Waukesha County and in southeastern Wisconsin, to support the arena plan and ensure that hundreds of millions of dollars will be invested here in Wisconsin and not spent in Seattle, Las Vegas, or elsewhere.

I hope we, as a state, recognize the rarity of this opportunity before us.  We need to work together to move forward and invest in our future.”

As for the arena funding proposal, Republicans have crafted a bill that would devote $250 million to the arena through a mix of state and local tax dollars over the next 20 years. The Bucks owners would contribute $150 million and former owner Herb Kohl would contribute $100 million.

The funding proposal will be taken up by lawmakers separate from the state budget, which was passed by the Assembly and Senate last week, and signed by Governor Scott Walker on Sunday, July 12th.

Bucks arena funding proposal