Bucks president says arena deal needed in next 10 days
MILWAUKEE (AP) Milwaukee Bucks president Peter Feigin said Tuesday evening that there was no immediate deadline for a financing deal for a new arena.
The comments came after Feigin told business leaders earlier in the day that a deal needs to be done within 10 days so the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee can consider it.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1cX7XRf ) reported that Feigin said, ''The clock is ticking. This has to be wrapped up in the next 10 days.'' His comments came with the Bucks playing the Chicago Bulls in the NBA playoffs.
A team spokesman later said that Feigin had misspoken in referring to the 10-day window.
''There is no immediate deadline for a financing plan and we're not creating one,'' Feigin said in a statement released Tuesday evening by the team. ''We're simply hopeful that progress continues with our partners and throughout the legislative and political process.''
The team wants a plan passed in the state budget in June so ground can be broken in the fall.
Team officials are set to meet Wednesday with legislative leaders and city and county leaders. One issue is how much public money should be part of a $500 million arena in an overall $1 billion entertainment district.
Current and former Bucks owners have committed $250 million. Republican Gov. Scott Walker's budget calls for providing $220 million in public dollars through state bonds for the arena. Republican lawmakers wary of too much bonding have balked at that idea.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, a Republican from Juneau, said legislative leaders expect to present a plan to the Bucks and local leaders on Wednesday that calls for the state Board of Commissioners of Public Lands to give the locals a straight cash loan.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has committed $25 million, with another $25 million expected from the county. Fitzgerald has suggested loaning the locals up to $220 million through the Board of Commissioner of Public Lands. He said Tuesday no firm numbers are in place yet, but he was confident all the sides could hammer out a deal on Wednesday.
The Bucks face an NBA-imposed deadline to have a new arena in place by fall 2017. The NBA has said that it will buy the team and move the franchise if the arena isn't ready by then.