Milwaukee Bucks

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks

The Milwaukee Common Council on Tuesday approved spending $47 million to help the Bucks build a new downtown arena and entertainment center. 

The city and team had worked out differences on a few issues that had the potential to derail the project.

The effort to build a new downtown arena for the Milwaukee Bucks took another step forward last week.  

County Executive Chris Abele announced the sale of Park East land near the current BMO Harris Bradley Center to the Bucks to make way for a practice facility.  A detail in the state budget bill that passed this year removed the county board from overseeing that land sale. Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Common Council will vote later this month on the city’s contribution to the public financing of the arena. 

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks

Several members of the Milwaukee Common Council on Tuesday engaged in a heated debate over proposed amendments to an arena financing deal. The project is expected to cost around $500 million, with the city’s projected share at $47 million. City leaders say they want to make sure Milwaukee is getting the best deal for its money.

Michael McNamara

The Milwaukee Bucks owners promise to transform the former freeway land into a basketball arena and entertainment district that will create more than 3,700 jobs, about 1,000 of them permanent. The owners and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele announced the deal Wednesday afternoon, on the corner of 4th and Juneau, with representatives of organized labor in attendance.

Planners say that over the next nine years, they will create $400 million in mixed-use development including retail space, apartments and a public plaza, in addition to a basketball arena.

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks

Monday the city of Milwaukee will begin the formal process of considering financing for a new Bucks arena. Earlier this summer, the state agreed to its share of the $500 million project. But most of the public funding - $250 million before interest, would come from local sources – Milwaukee County, the City Center District and the city. The impacts remain in dispute.

Gov. Walker signed the state share of the arena into law a few weeks back.

Michael McNamara

Several hope the new basketball arena and entertainment complex carry over the theme and ambience of Milwaukee's Old World Third Street and its German heritage.

The Bucks have invited several nearby stakeholders to offer suggestions Tuesday night at the Bradley Center, now that team owners hope to break ground by October on land north of downtown.

Milwaukee Bucks


The Milwaukee Bucks are moving forward with plans to build a new arena and entertainment center on the west end of downtown. In fact, investors recently purchased a second vacant lot for the project.

On Thursday evening, people who live close to the site are invited to the Hillside Family Resource Center to share their concerns and hopes.

Darrell Finch is optimistic. He thinks the new arena complex, with its shops and restaurants will create jobs for people who live nearby. Finch says the neighborhood needs a boost. Unemployment runs rampant.

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks

Gov. Scott Walker stopped at State Fair Park Wednesday morning. The purpose of his visit was to sign into law the state’s funding package to help pay for a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks.

The plan commits $80 million in state funding to the roughly $400 million dollar project. The deal calls for contributions from the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County, as well. The lion’s share of the taxpayers’ responsibility will come through bonds the Wisconsin Center District issues. The Bucks current and former owners are contributing a combined $250 million.

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks

The Wisconsin Assembly on Tuesday approved a funding deal for a new arena in Milwaukee. It would cover the public share; the Bucks’ former and current owners will contribute $250 million in private money. So after months of debate, the bill is headed to the desk of Gov. Scott Walker. The vote was not unanimous, 52 to 34, but the legislation did garner bipartisan support.

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks

The plan to use public funding to help build a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks has cleared a major hurdle. Wednesday evening, the state Senate approved the deal on a vote of 21 to 10.

Republicans had to convince a number of Democrats to go along with the plan.

Before the vote, senators made a few revisions to the bill they took up last week in the Joint Committee on Finance.

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks

The state Senate could vote as soon as Wednesday on a financing package for a new Milwaukee Bucks arena.

It would include contributions from state and local government, in addition to the funding the Bucks’ current and former owners have committed.

Under the plan the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance held a hearing on last week, Milwaukee County’s share would come, in part, from $4 million a year in debt collections. The arena plan calls for the state Department of Revenue to assume the county’s role in debt collection.

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks

Along with the approval of the the public financing deal by the Wisconsin legislature and then the Milwaukee Common Council, the Milwaukee Bucks face several hurdles with their proposed downtown arena. 

One of those hurdles is a so-called entertainment district around the new Bucks arena. The plan is it would bring an economic spark to the district. However, many believe that bringing a developed district to the area would harm existing businesses.

Rachel Maidl

As conversation continues about a proposed new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, a grassroots group would like the owners to invest $30 million in the city's struggling neighborhoods in exchange for public funding for a basketball venue. 

Under the deal leaders have crafted, the public could contribute $250 million for a new arena.

Members of Common Ground made their case at City Hall on Wednesday. Several, including Jennifer O'Hear, objected to the fact that the public has been excluded from all talks so far.

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks

The Milwaukee County Board held a hearing Tuesday night to get input on a proposed $1 sale of Park East Land. The sale of the county parcel would help pave the way for the Bucks arena project.

Many citizens voiced concerns about the land sale – in addition to the broader proposed public investment in the project. Meanwhile, many of those who back the land sale say it would put an abandoned parcel to good use. They also argue the arena project will benefit the entire community.

A county board committee is scheduled to vote on the $1 land sale next week.

How Financing for a Bucks Arena Would Impact Municipalities, Basketball

Jun 5, 2015
Milwaukee Bucks /

Governor Scott Walker, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, and County Executive Chris Abele held a joint press conference yesterday to announce a deal reached that would allow for the construction of a new basketball arena in downtown Milwaukee.