Group wants portion of funds from potential new Bucks arena

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Milwaukee Bucks may have a hard time building a new venue without sharing millions with non-profit organizations. Hundreds of community members met Tuesday evening, April 8th, pushing for funds to be shared with schools, parks and other groups.

Hamilton High School head football coach Jake Haskell says many schools across the area, not just his, are facing the challenge of aging facilities. Some believe there may be a new solution to give school facilities a face-lift thanks to another team looking to make an upgrade -- the Milwaukee Bucks.

The BMO Harris Bradley Center is the oldest venue in the NBA and replacing it could cost hundreds of millions of dollars. That would require help from the public. More than 600 people gathered Tuesday to make known they would be on board, as long as a portion of the money is shared with non-profits.

"If the Bucks get a great place to play, out kids should also have great places to play," said Jennifer O'Hear, president of Common Ground, a group working toward getting a portion of the funds. "If we're going to use public dollars to build a new arena for the Bucks, we should also use $150 million or $200 million to upgrade the play spaces our kids are using throughout the county."

The money could come from a new tax which many are opposed to, regardless of where they money is spent. Others see it as an opportunity to keep the Bucks, fund schools and non-profits and cheer for a stronger community.

"I believe that everyone can come together and be satisfied. I believe the outcome can be accomplished," said O'Hear.

Common Ground members sit on a panel created by the City of Milwaukee to explore options regarding what to do with the aging BMO Harris Bradley Center.