Milwaukee report questions publicly funding arenas

A new report said publicly financed sports arenas don’t provide an economic benefit to communities. That conclusion would blunt an argument that’s commonly used to justify construction of new stadiums at taxpayer expense.

A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report said the study is from Milwaukee’s Legislative Reference Bureau.

The report released Friday cites studies showing that publicly financed sports venues haven’t paid off economically for the city, county, or state governments that are paying for them.

The study was requested by Milwaukee Alderman Michael Murphy. It comes as talks evolve on whether the community wants or needs a new arena to replace the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee.

Murphy said he hopes the report tempers the business community’s enthusiasm for publicly financing such a project.