Potential location for Bucks arena discussed


Photo by Rebecca Rebholz/ rebecca.rebholz@mu.edu

Now that the elections have passed and Gov. Scott Walker said he has not yet received a dollar figure for state funding to a new Milwaukee Bucks arena, Marquette is stressing that it holds a voice in the discussions.

Marquette, whose men’s basketball team plays its home games at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, could become a potential partner in creating the new arena, which would most likely be utilized by the university for future men’s basketball games.

“The future arena is an important issue for our entire community,” said university spokesman Brian Dorrington in an email. “President Lovell has met with the Bucks owners and has said often that he feels it is important that Marquette is at the table for the region’s most important discussions. The university is paying very close attention to the discussions, but we also want to gain a better understanding of more detailed plans.”

At an October news conference regarding the Bucks moving their corporate offices to Schlitz Park, Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry spoke on the location of a new arena, which needs to be built by 2017 in order for co-owners Wes Edens and Lasry to keep the location of the team.

“As soon as I know — well, I know, but I can’t say it so I apologize — but as soon as I can tell you, I certainly will,” Lasry said, Fox Sports Wisconsin reported. “I think within the next 30 to 60 days we’ll know where the new arena is.”

The owners are reportedly in negotiations to purchase the Journal Communications property, 333 West State St., where the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is located, according to an OnMilwaukee.com article.

Other potential sites include a parking lot owned by the city at North 4th Street and West Wisconsin Avenue as well as a property just north of the Bradley Center, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

This arena is estimated to cost between $350 and $500 million and Edens, Lasry and former owner Herb Kohl pledged to contribute $200 million to its construction.

State funding, corporate sponsors, private donors and increased taxes through user fees, tax increment financing and other non-sale tax methods are needed to cover the additional cost, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The decision to put state finances towards the construction requires the support of the Republican-dominated state legislature.

Edens and Lasry said previously that they will reveal the new arena’s location by the end of 2014. Once they establish a location, the cost of construction will be a more concrete number and the Bucks will likely submit a funding request to the state.

“It’s absolute commitment for us to stay here,” Lasry said in an October press conference. “When we bought this team, this is the only place we wanted to be. We don’t have any interest in going anywhere else. We’re going to build a new arena …. You know, we signed a pretty long-term lease, so we’re going to be here for the long term.”