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Group Protests Bucks Arena Plan In Milwaukee

Organizers Say State Money Shouldn't Be Used For The Project


A religious and social justice coalition is questioning Gov. Scott Walker’s plan for the state to borrow more than $200 million to help pay for a new basketball arena in Milwaukee.

The group Common Ground held a news conference Thursday, outside a run-down, foreclosed house that’s controlled by one of the Milwaukee Bucks’ new owners, Wes Edens.

Common Ground’s Jennifer O’Hear said Nationstar Mortgage, a company owned by Edens’ investment firm, oversees dozens of deteriorating properties in the area. She said she wants those repaired, and said the Bucks’ ownership team could fully pay for a new arena, instead of the state using increased taxes on players salaries to pay back the bonds.

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“If Mr. Edens, Mr. Lasry and Mr. Dinan, the three—all of them billionaires—owners paid for this arena themselves, then that money would go into the general fund where it belongs”

The Bucks’ current and past owners have said they will put $250 million into the new arena.

Nationstar Mortgage released a letter Thursday indicating that company officials offered an agreement trying to accommodate Common Ground’s concerns, but that the group declined to move forward on Nationstar’s offer.