The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board wants you to know that just because three year after the owner of the Bucks started agitating for a new arena, everybody is still just staring at each other wondering who’s going to pay the half-billion-dollar-plus price tag, they still think it’s a great idea. Because “everyone is still talking about a new arena in Milwaukee. And when everyone talks, something usually happens.” And because “a small city in a cold climate needs all the quality-of-life amenities it can get.” And also because “if Milwaukee wants to remain an ‘NBA city,’ the city must comply with NBA standards,” which are never defined, by either the paper or the NBA, but never mind about that, Seattle wants your teeeeeeeeam!
Not that the Journal Sentinel editors think Milwaukee should just roll over and give the new Bucks owners anything they want, oh no: They suggest the state could kick in $150 million, the city and county kicking in something that “may depend on the size and scope of any nearby development spurred by a new arena” (why, we’re again not told). And then maybe the Bucks owners will actually kick in something more than $150 million out of their own pockets, notwithstanding that the Journal Sentinel itself has already reported that they won’t.
In other words, there’s nothing new here, other than “Jeez, guys, everyone’s been talking about an arena without knowing how to pay for it for years now, why give up on that momentum now?” And, presumably, trying to turn up the heat on elected officials to get a deal done, especially when you consider that it ends like this:
Where’s former Gov. Tommy Thompson when we need him? He’d know exactly what to do.
What has Thompson been up to since leaving Wisconsin elected office, anyway? Oh, right, lobbying his old bosses in government for Medicaid changes that would directly benefit his private companies. Yeah, he would no doubt know exactly what to do, but something tells me he’d more likely be sitting on the other side of the negotiating table.