New Milwaukee Bucks Arena
Posted: June 26, 2015
When I attended a baseball game at Miller Park earlier this spring, I was reminded how important it is for businesses in Wisconsin to work with state lawmakers to retain what we have in the Badger State for sports teams. I have not met anyone who has ever attended a ball game at Miller Park who has not had a great experience. If not for state lawmakers, the deal to keep the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team in Wisconsin would not have happened.
Now we have the new owners of the Milwaukee Bucks of The National Basketball Association asking for the state to help with construction of a new, $500 million arena. It does not involve tax dollars. In fact, the bonds that would be issued would be paid back over the course of the next 20 years. And since the 30-year bonds will be paid back with 10 years remaining, it's hard for me to understand why the state's politicians are not more supportive of the deal.
To me, this is a no-brainer. There are tens of millions of dollars that are collected by the income taxes earned by the 160 employees of the Milwaukee Bucks, the sales taxes that are collected by the neighboring businesses in the downtown Milwaukee area and the income taxes collected by the athletes that are taxed while they play in Wisconsin.
In addition, the new owners of the Milwaukee Bucks plan to establish an entertainment district around the new arena that will be valued at approximately $500 million. If the Milwaukee Bucks were forced to leave the state, Wisconsin would be responsible for making at least $120 million in repairs to the current Bradley Center.
There is no question that the state legislature is playing politics with the new Milwaukee Bucks arena. However, it was comforting to see one local lawmaker, Warren Petryk, publicly support the arena project. He noted that, if the state loses the Milwaukee Bucks, the state would lose $417 million in potential revenue over a 20-year period.
There are a number of other cities across the country that would love to have an NBA franchise. Whether you are a fan of the NBA or not, it makes no sense to lose the Bucks to another city, namely Seattle, who are already making plans to lure a franchise to their city with state-funded tax dollars.
REMINDER: There will be no issue of The Bottom Line next week due to the Fourth of July holiday. Ropa Publishing Company wishes everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July holiday.