Bucks Arena Funding Gets Initial OK

City officials in Milwaukee, Wis., gave preliminary approval for a $47 million financing package to fund the Milwaukee Bucks’ proposed downtown arena.  

Photo: AP Photo

Including the city’s share, the proposal leaves taxpayers on the hook for $250 million, the local Journal-Sentinel reported, and some community groups have questioned whether public money should be used “to subsidize billionaire owners’ demands for a new arena.”

Alderman Ashanti Hamilton told the paper the city’s investment will strengthen the job market, expand the tax base, and help the middle class and poor.

“It’s more than corporate welfare,” he said. “There is so much benefit – a huge opportunity – in front of us.” The city’s funding will be split between building a parking structure and a public plaza, with money repaid through two tax incremental financing districts, the paper noted. The package will be considered by the full Milwaukee city council next week.