The clock is ticking to find "the best bang for the Bucks" new Milwaukee arena
MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The clock is ticking to start building a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks. The big question -- where will it be, and how will it be paid for? Governor Scott Walker is saying he needs to see a plan before the state can offer help.
The Bucks have been playing well this season. But off the court, the team is finding that a new arena is not a slam dunk.
The team's new owners reportedly preferred a site that would include the current Journal Communications building and the Panther Arena, but that is looking less likely.
Now the Bucks are searching for a different site, all with the NBA's clock ticking down.
"If they don't have action on an arena by 2017, they're likely to move forward with considering other locations around the country that are considering a team. It doesn't have to be built by them, but there has to be action, something -- literally concrete by then," said Walker.
Last month, the NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, visited Milwaukee and said he was optimistic a new arena will be built in time to keep the Bucks in Milwaukee. But so far there are no specifics.
"We get asked all the time, are you for or against, and I say 'what?'," said Walker.
The puzzle of financing a stadium is the biggest open question, with the new owners pledging $100 million -- former owner, Herb Kohl, pledging $100 million, and the rest to come from either private or public investments.
"We don't know what they're proposing, what the dollar amount is. When they've got a plan, we'd be more than happy to meet. Until then, it's kind of a question of what are we actually meeting about," said Walker.
"I don't believe in raising any taxes to pay for this," said State Representative, Josh Zepnick,
Zepnick of Milwaukee says public funding from a state tax is unlikely.
"I think the state's role should be very limited. It should be closely analyzed to make sure we're getting the best bank for our buck -- or the best bang for the Bucks," said Zepnick.
The NBA has given the Bucks a deadline of November 2017 to have a deal in place for a new arena.
If that deadline isn't met, the league could force a sale of the team.