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Milwaukee County Executive Tries To Jumpstart Bucks Arena Deal

Abele Says Increased Government Revenue From Project Will Allow For Expanded Social Services

City of Milwaukee (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele is trying to break the logjam over funding for a new basketball arena in Milwaukee.

He told a forum Thursday that a new facility for the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team would increase local property values and raise revenues for other programs.

“The reason why I’m excited about a new arena is — forget basketball — more revenue for the state, more revenue for me to be able to keep doing what I have been doing, which is restore social services,” he said.

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Abele said a new arena would make use of a largely vacant property in downtown Milwaukee. He also said the Bucks have agreed to use minority-owned and local firms for construction.

Some Republican lawmakers from outside of Milwaukee said they are not ready to vote for the arena financing package because there would be too much borrowing by the state.