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BREWERS EVALUATE THEIR OPTIONS AFTER LOTTERY LOSS
Published April 7, 1995
With the defeat this week of a sports lottery to help fund a new stadium in Milwaukee, the Brewers are now left with a "handful of alternatives that each carry their own set of political obstacles." They are: A wholesale tax on petroleum stored in Milwaukee, some temporary local sales tax increase, or tapping Indian gaming revenue. Each option was weighed by various officials this week. According to Milwaukee County Exec F. Thomas Ament, a 2-cent-per-gallon petroleum fee on gas stored in Milwaukee could raise about $20M a year -- "about the cost of constructing the new baseball stadium." On the other hand, officials in surrounding counties have "uniformly rejected" the idea of a regional sales tax hike. The use of Indian gaming revenues, is getting mixed reactions, including an "immediate" dismissal by a spokesperson for Gov. Tommy Thompson (Gilbert & Rinard, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 4/5). VOTE FALLOUT: In Milwaukee, Craig Gilbert notes many reasons for the lottery's "landslide" defeat. According to lobbyist/lottery opponent Mike Birkley, "There was a strong anti- Milwaukee, but not anti-Brewer, sentiment." But state Sen. Gary Drzewiecki said "voters were fed up with gambling and fed up with major-league baseball after the strike" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 4/5). Brewers Owner Bud Selig feels the team must continue to work with the community to find a way to finance a stadium. Selig: "In January, the business community announced an aggressive and significant ticket commitment. The Brewers have committed $60 million to $90 million (in rent and other contributions) toward a new ballpark. It's important that we now further this partnership and formulate the right financing package" (Tom Haudricourt, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 4/5).