Wisconsin Assembly approves $250 million in public funds for Bucks arena

Wisconsin lawmakers approved $250 million in public funding to build a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks. 
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The Wisconsin Assembly passed a bill Tuesday approving $250 million in public funds to build a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Lawmakers had said Monday that they expected the bill to pass in Tuesday’s vote. It now goes to governor Scott Walker to be signed into law or vetoed. Walker has previously expressed support for the bill. 

The bill passed the state senate last week by a 21–10 vote and the Assembly voted 52–34 in favor of the measure. 

Bucks president Peter Feiginsaid earlier this month that the NBA could buy the team from its owners and relocate it to “Las Vegas or Seattle” if the funding package was not approved. Billionaires Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry vowed to keep the team in Milwaukee when they purchased the franchise in 2014.

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The arena is expected to cost $500 million to build, with Bucks ownership contributing $150 million. Former Bucks owner Herb Kohl, an ex-United States senator, will pay $100 million. The remaining $250 million will be publicly funded but will cost Wisconsin taxpayers $400 million, accounting for interest over a 20-year period.

- Dan Gartland