The Wisconsin State Senate passed a complex aid package, 21-10, early Wednesday night to help the Milwaukee Bucks build a new arena in Downtown Milwaukee. After several days of intense caucus activity by each party and some face to face negotiations, the senate passed the aid package.
The bill's next step is to the assembly, which is expected to pass the measure. It amounts to half of the expected $500 million dollar cost of the new development on the vacant Park East parcel just north of the Bradley Center.
The NBA has set a deadline for 2017 for the Bucks to have a new arena or else the league would move the team to Seattle or Las Vegas. The new package calls for a $2 ticket surcharge for all events at the new arena and removes the provision that Milwaukee County would contribute $4 million a year by letting the state collect debts. The $4 million from the county is expected to be taken out of the shared revenues from the state.
Bucks president Peter Feigin released the following statement shortly after the vote, saying, "Today’s vote is a significant step forward in our collective effort to build a new sports and entertainment district in Wisconsin. We appreciate the bipartisan leadership in Madison for bringing this transformative partnership one step closer to reality. We’re optimistic that this financing package will receive support in the Assembly and look forward to working with state, county and city officials."