Gov. Scott Walker expected to add bonding for Milwaukee arena in budget

Photo by Sterling Silver/[email protected]

Gov. Scott Walker is expected to add bonding to Wisconsin’s budget to help finance a multipurpose arena in downtown Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Don Walker reported.

Milwaukee Bucks owners Wes Edens, Marc Lasry and Jamie Dinan have not announced a location for the new arena, which would replace the outdated BMO Harris Bradley Center, where the Marquette men’s basketball team plays. They are expected to announce a location at the end of the month.

The new structure is expected to cost somewhere between $400 and $500 million. The owners and former owner Sen. Herb Kohl have pledged a combined total of at least $250 million.

Prospects of public money were quashed when Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said he would not support the project in December.

Details about the financing deal are not known, but bonding generally means pulling funds from the public to be paid back with interest. In addition to bonding, the Journal Sentinel reported that the plan would rely on income tax revenue paid by athletes in the National Basketball Association and Milwaukee Bucks players. It may also divert sales taxes for goods and services at the arena.

It is unknown whether Marquette will have have to contribute to the arena funding, and the university has not commented on the matter.

University spokesman Brian Dorrington said in a December email that Marquette will continue to play a part in the talks regarding the new arena.

“President (Michael) Lovell has met with the Bucks owners multiple times to get a better understanding of their overall vision and plans. Rather the comprehensive vision for the new arena, the overall development plan and Marquette’s prospective role.”