BREWERS GET NEW PLAY PEN, COMMIT TO STAYING IN MILWAUKEE
The Brewers, the state of Wisconsin, the city of Milwaukee
and Milwaukee County announced a "unique stadium partnership"
Saturday that calls for the team to co-own a new stadium,
contribute $90M toward its construction and agree to remain in
Milwaukee for 30 years, according to the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL
SENTINEL. The new stadium would be built next to County Stadium
and would have 42,000 seats and 75 luxury suites. It would be
the "first convertible-roof, natural-grass stadium of its kind in
the world" and would be completed in time for the '99 season (Amy
Rinard, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 8/20).
LEGISLATURE MAY BE TOUGH SELL: The plan reportedly has
"full support" from Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist, who said he
would "actively lobby the Legislature to ensure it is approved."
The Legislature is expected to take up the measure in September.
Supporters of the plan agree that it will be a "hard sell
politically -- especially because of the plan's call for small
increases in the hotel and sales taxes (Amy Rinard, MILWAUKEE
JOURNAL SENTINEL, 8/20).
HIGHLIGHTS: 1) Cost of the stadium would be $125M plus $60M
for the convertible roof, $15M for concession facilities, $25M
for equipment and scoreboards and $25M for engineering,
consulting and other "so-called soft costs"; 2) The Brewers
would co-own the stadium with a newly created Wisconsin
Professional Baseball District, "a quasi-public entity that would
issue tax-exempt bonds to pay for construction and levy taxes to
pay debt service on the bonds." The team would own 36% of the
new stadium and the district would own the rest; 3) The district
would impose a tenth-of-a-cent increase in the sales tax in
Milwaukee and Waukesha counties as well as a one percentage point
increase in the room tax charged in each county; 4) The Brewers
would contribute $90M toward construction costs, including a $50M
state-backed loan from the WI Housing and Economic Development
Authority, plus the revenue from sale of naming rights (about
$25M); 5) The team would manage the stadium and keep all the
revenue; 6) The team would lease the stadium for 30 years,
paying about $1.1M a year in rent (Amy Rinard, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL