Oh, goodie, somebody in Milwaukee has noticed that a new Bucks arena would actually have to be paid for, and the new Bucks owners aren’t going to do it themselves:
When the sale of the Milwaukee Bucks was announced, the city was filled with optimism, but now, as the community debates how a new arena will be paid for, some of that optimism is fading.
“There just seems to be a tendency — at least the initial response from a lot of people in the community is ‘no, we can’t do that, it’s going to cost too much, it’ll be too hard’,” said Rich Kirchen, from the Milwaukee Business Journal.
Uh-oh, not Rich Kirchen, he of the prediction that 2013 would be the “launching pad” for a new arena because 48 Chamber of Commerce members turned out to a meeting to decide that nobody knew how to pay for one, and before that the mouthpiece for NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s demands for a new arena. What does Kirchen have to say this time?
“Over the last 15 years, there have been 13 arenas built — anywhere from 3 percent to 100 percent public financing. There were four that were paid for with 100 percent public money, but in between there’s a mix about 50 to 60 percent typically,” said Kirchen.
That’s probably fair enough — I haven’t checked it yet against Judith Grant Long’s figures, which would probably show a few more hidden public costs, if anything, but it sounds about right. It’s also, of course, entirely irrelevant — it’s the “all the other kids are doing it” argument — but who cares about that when there’s an arena to be built, right?
To its credit, the Fox6 report this is all drawn from does note that the new Golden State Warriors arena is set to be entirely privately financed, and that the Brooklyn Nets‘ arena didn’t generate the profits it was expecting. It doesn’t go into much detail about what public funds would likely be tapped to help pay for a Bucks arena, or whether this would be a good investment for taxpayers, or anything like that, but compared to some of the reporting coming out of Milwaukee, it’s positively in-depth. Baby steps, I guess.