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The Wisconsin Center District Board approved a team of advisors for the upcoming negotiations involving the new Downtown arena.

Wisconsin Center District Board selects Downtown arena advisory team

On Friday, the reconstituted Wisconsin Center District Board met for the first time since the Legislature passed the Milwaukee sports arena bill. Wisconsin Center District (WCD) Board Chairman Scott A. Neitzel presented selections to the board on an initial team of advisors who can assist with the Milwaukee arena negotiations. The WCD Board unanimously approved the Chairman's selections.

Below is a statement from Chairman Neitzel regarding today's board meeting:

"I would like to thank the Wisconsin Center District Board for their vote of confidence in our team. Their vote was significant and shows that the board will work together with our team collaboratively moving forward.

"We are taking swift action, as evidenced by today's meeting. Now that our highly qualified team is in place we can enter into formal negotiations, with the goal of protecting taxpayers while moving forward on an expedited timeline.

"In addition to getting our advisors in place, over the last few weeks we have had discussions with the Bucks organization. I would like to thank the Bucks for being forthcoming with information and answering our questions, and am confident that we will continue to work together with the shared goal of constructing a Milwaukee sports arena within budget and on time." ​

Below is the initial team that will be utilized by the WCD throughout the negotiation process:

  • Project Manager and Negotiator—Dan Barrett, Barrett Sports Group, LCC

  • Legal Counsel and Negotiations—Husch Blackwell

  • Legal Counsel (WCD General Counsel)—Michael, Best & Friedrich, LLP

  • Bond/Tax Counsel—Quarles & Brady, LLP

  • Financial Advisor—Robert W. Baird & Co.

  • Investment Banker/Underwriter—Morgan Stanley

Chairman Neitzel also introduced Dan Barrett, who will serve as the WCD's Milwaukee arena project manager and negotiator. Barrett played instrumental roles in numerous sports arena deals including working for the City of Sacramento in retaining the Kings, which included the redevelopment of an entertainment and sports center and downtown plaza. The other advisors that will be working closely with Barrett are a mix of national experts with sports experience and local firms that are familiar with the Milwaukee area, the WCD and the state of Wisconsin.

Below is a statement from Dan Barrett:

"The Wisconsin Center District has assembled a highly qualified and experienced team. We look forward to getting started right away as we understand time is of the essence. Our primary goal will be to protect the taxpayers on behalf of the district. We expect to begin formal negotiations with the Bucks organization in the near future."

In addition to approving the initial Milwaukee arena team, the WCD board approved reconstituted bylaws, received an update from Visit Milwaukee, and received a finance and personnel update.

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