Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced an arena-funding plan Thursday for the new downtown Milwaukee Bucks arena that’s in the works. The plan calls for taxpayers to pick up half of the $500 million tab for the arena, with current and former team owners on the hook for the rest.
Walker, team officials and a slew of other politicians have been negotiating the deal for quite some time. The NBA has threatened to move the Bucks if the team doesn’t have a more modern arena by 2017.
Walker emphasized that the cost of the arena is less than if the Bucks moved, per Scott Bauer of the Associated Press:
“The price of doing nothing is not zero. It’s $419 million,” Walker said, one of repeated references to the estimated lost revenue and growth over 20 years if the team moves. “It’s not just a good deal. It’s a really bad deal if we don’t do anything.”
The plan includes current and former Bucks owners to contribute $250 million and account for any cost overruns. The taxpayers will contribute $250 million, although the cost would grow to $400 million over 20 years with interest. Even then though, that’s still less than the $419 projected loss of revenue if the Bucks left.
The Bucks made a statement on the announcement:
The Milwaukee Bucks statement from team President Peter Feigin regarding the arena financing proposal: pic.twitter.com/8v5Scd5N4f
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) June 4, 2015
The Bucks revealed renderings for their planned arena and surrounding entertainment complex in April.