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Where should a new arena go?
Where should a new arena go? (Photo:

Where does the Downtown alderman think a new arena should go?

I saw fourth district Ald. Bob Bauman the other day. I own a condo in his Downtown district, so he's my alderman. But, as we said goodbye I wondered to myself what does Bob think is the best location for a new arena and entertainment facility? He does represent Downtown, after all.  

Many civic leaders, via the various media in town, have offered opinions. There are several good choices, and I'm certain due diligence will be done before a final selection is made. Full disclosure, I serve on two boards of entities (Wisconsin Center District and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts) involved in these discussions. And, while I'd never write about specific board level discussions, I did want to know what Bauman was thinking.  

The opportunity at hand in Downtown Milwaukee is enormous. We're staring at a new entertainment area, and have hundreds of millions of dollars already committed. No matter how a new arena and entertainment district come together, eventually -- of course -- an exact location will have to be determined.  

So what are the Downtown alderman's thoughts? He told me this, via email:

"I have a lot of thoughts but have not yet settled on a location other than that the location needs to be Downtown."

"There are strengths and weaknesses to all currently identified locations. Clearly 4th and Wisconsin would have a huge catalytic impact provided the site is big enough, which it may not be. The Park East in the vicinity of 5th and Juneau is vacant and big enough, but this would move the arena further away from Wisconsin Avenue and the central area of Downtown. That would not be a good idea. Therefore, at this point, I favor a site on the West side of the river as close to Wisconsin Avenue as possible."

That's all he'd say, so that's all I have. But, he did conclude with saying there are "a lot of moving parts that will have to be sorted out."  


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