Common Ground: If tax money is used to build Bucks arena, MPS facilities should be improved

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Milwaukee Bucks aren't the only team looking for help with a new facility. A campaign is fighting to improve Milwaukee Public Schools' sports arenas with the help of Milwaukee's NBA team.

If tax dollars are used to build a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, the Common Ground group says some of that money should be used for MPS fields and tracks. The group took that message to the Milwaukee Board of School Directors on Tuesday evening, September 16th.

On the field at Washington High School, the football team practiced hard on Tuesday -- every hit and push done as the youngsters try to improve.

Off the field, that same perseverance could be found at a meeting of the Milwaukee Board of School Directors.

"We need to take some pride in the kids. It's just a sense of pride for the neighborhood. It looks horrible over there," Patricia Hardy said.

Hardy is a Washington High School alumna, who says the sports arena needs some help.

"It's gravel and grass. That's basically it," Hardy said.

That could change if Common Ground has its way. The group wants to fix up sports arenas at 11 Milwaukee Public Schools. It's something they say is possible with the help of the Bucks.

"If we're going to be spending our public dollars, it should be something that benefits the vast majority of people in this community," Jennifer O'Hear, the co-chair of the "Fair Play" campaign said.

The idea: If tax money is used to build a Bucks arena, some of that money should help improve MPS sports facilities.

"We're saying that we can do both," O'Hear said.

On Tuesday evening, a Milwaukee Board of School Directors committee threw its support behind the plan.

"If we invest in outdoor recreation spaces and playgrounds, that's something that everybody can enjoy and benefit from," O'Hear said.

It's an idea to tackle sub-par facilities while boosting team spirit on field that might need a lift.

"They need to take care of our kids.  We need to take care of our kids," Hardy said.

No public funding plan has been proposed to build a new Milwaukee Bucks arena. If public money is used, Common Ground says improving MPS facilities will cost around $70 million.

The Milwaukee Board of School Directors in its meeting on Thursday evening, September 18th approved a resolution on this issue.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Common Ground and the "Fair Play" initiative.

CLICK HERE for complete coverage on the Milwaukee Bucks arena issue via

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