With the discussion heating up in Milwaukee over a new arena, one nagging question emerges: if the Milwaukee Bucks (NBA) were winning, would folks be more enthusiastic about a new facility?
The Bucks didn’t make the playoffs and traded arguably their best player (when healthy, that is), Andrew Bogut, this past season. The team narrowly missed the playoffs and are stuck in that awkward area where the team has a very slender chance at winning the draft lottery but not quite good enough to reach the playoffs.
Now, the numbers really don’t vary that much whether the Bucks are winning or losing: it’s not going to lower the cost of the project and won’t affect the balance between money provided by private developers, the Bucks and the public sector. And there seems to be a consensus that a new arena is needed to replace the small and cramped Bradley Center, not only to keep the Bucks in town but to attract other high-profile touring events as well.
The real issue, argues Michael Hun, is that everyone loves a winner, and a winning team will probably will public acceptance of a Bradley Center replacement. The discussion should be interesting: it’s been a long time since the public funded a Milwaukee arena (remember, the Bradley Center was privately funded), and the last discussion of public funding of sports facilities in the city ended up causing shockwaves across the state.
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