Milwaukee Conference Considers Possibility Of New Arena To Retain Bucks
In Milwaukee on Monday, "round one of the arena debate" began at Marquette Univ.'s law school with a conference "intended to explore and discuss whether an arena is needed, how it would be paid for, what would happen if the Bucks leave town and whether the time is right for a more aggressive plan to address the needs of other artistic and cultural institutions," according to Don Walker of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. For several participants, the loss of the Bucks "would be a devastating wound to the area." Wild Owner Craig Leipold, who lives outside Milwaukee, said, "The only time you let a franchise leave a market is (after) you try every possible way to keep it there." Leipold added, "The NBA will work to keep the Bucks in Milwaukee, but it has to have a new arena." Leipold when asked if he is interested in buying the Bucks said that he is "dedicated to his hockey franchise." Leipold: "But I would say I would like to be part of the solution to have them stay here. If it means working with people, I will raise my hand up and be one of those guys who help out." Not attending Monday's conference were Bucks Owner Herb Kohl, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Bucks execs "sat in on the discussion but did not speak" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 4/9). Walker reported Milwaukee Alderman Michael Murphy, Common Council President Willie Hines and other elected officials "sounded a note of caution about the need for a new arena and how it fits in a long line of community priorities and needs." Murphy said that while there is "talk of razing the BMO Harris Bradley Center, the city doesn't have enough money to raze dilapidated homes." He added that there "seems to be support among the business community to finance and construct a new arena to keep the Bucks in town." Murphy: "But the reality is, I'm having a tough time keeping libraries open" (JSONLINE.com, 4/8).