Monday, July 13, 2015

National TV News focuses on Wisconsin...with the Bucks arena!

I could talk about Gov Walker's silly little event in the 262 today, but that's what Twitter is for (at least for now). Instead, I'll give you an update on an issue that has bigger relevance here in Wisconsin- the Bucks arena. Looks like there might be fast movement on this thing, if you believe this tweet from State Sen. Lena Taylor .

And quite a timely quote, not just because the state budget was signed yesterday by Governor Walker after his plans for $220 million in state funding for the Bucks arena were booted, but also because HBO's John Oliver just had a long segment on public funding of sports arenas, including a major callout for your Milwaukee Bucks!

The Bucks stuff starts around 9:30, and there's even an Yi Jianlian reference around 13:00! (nice research, Oliver Show)

I especially like the Marlins owner admitting around 3:40 that grabbing public dollars is part of their plan to maximize the team's revenue. Hey, if they're gonna offer....!

I have not seen the TV ad Oliver shows on the Bucks arena, I have heard radio ads from the Commercial Realtors that are more in the "scare tactic" vein. I would agree with Oliver's point that a sports arena should be WAY DOWN on the list of public priorities that taxes shell out for, and that a new arena is far from a guarantee for major economic development, and not worth giving land away for $1 as a result. That sums up my main opposition to the Bucks arena, more than opposing it out of a belief that we don't need to help businesses like NBA teams that will make money hand over fist no matter where they play.

But let me see what's in Bucks package version 3.0 (as State Rep. Dean Knudson promised we'd see during last week's hearing), at least it can't be as absurd as the stuff Cincinnati and Hamilton Co, Ohio have to shell out for the Bengals (see 12:45 of the Oliver story). And while I harbor no illusions that the State Legislature and local Milwaukee governments will "MAKE THE BUCKS OWNERS PAY!". maybe there will be a solution that makes a bit more sense and balance, and helps the Milwaukee community beyond the arena district.

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