Milwaukee stadium will be tough sell for lawmakers
Memo looks at bonding for new Bucks stadium
MILWAUKEE — Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says it won’t be easy to find the public money that the Milwaukee Bucks are seeking to help build a new arena.
The team wants to replace BMO Harris Bradley Center with a new downtown arena that could cost up to $500 million. Vos, a republican from Rochester, says Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry made a mistake by greeting President Barack Obama at the airport last month. He says the appearance is making it harder for him to persuade Republican legislators to support a financial plan for the proposed area.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the Bucks have already come up with $300 million to fund the project, but it would still require some public funding.
Vos says the Bucks need to convince lawmakers that the arena would boost the local economy.
A memo by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau says $150 million in general obligation bonds could be supported to help finance a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks.
The memo was written on Sept. 30 but not released publicly until Friday by Vos.
The memo says $150 million in bonds could be supported by the $12.7 million in Wisconsin personal income taxes paid every year by NBA players and other league employees. That assumes a 20-year repayment structure for the bonds.
Republican Majority Leader Jim Steineke says he is open to ideas, but thinks it will be a tough sell statewide.