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Racine Continues with Arena Plans

Arena Digest

Racine, WI will continue to vet its options for a new arena, as a vote on Monday means that the Hammes Company could join the project. 

Discussions in Racine have continued about whether to build a new arena as part of a downtown development that includes a hotel. Last week, SB Friedman recommended that the city proceed with hiring an owner’s representative to be involved in the project.

Following a vote on Monday, the city has moved closer to selecting the Hammes Company to serve in that capacity. Another vote on the matter is scheduled for next week. More from The Journal Times:

The Redevelopment Authority unanimously affirmed the city’s choice of Madison-based Hammes Co. to serve as “owner’s representative,” while the Committee of the Whole approved the use of up to $600,000 to fund Phase I of the project by a 13-1 vote, with only 15th District Alderman Melissa Lemke opposed and 10th District Dennis Wiser not voting because he serves as City Council president and only casts a vote in the event of a tie.

The two votes mean the city will likely spend the money for Phase I, since the only approval remaining is from the City Council on March 7 and 13 alderman voted in favor of recommending the spending Monday. Of the $600,000, $225,000 will go to Hammes to cover its initial duties as owner’s representative, including project design.

The remaining $375,000, according to [city development director Amy] Connolly, will cover various pre-development costs, including bringing in other firms to help with certain aspects of pre-development.

The arena project was discussed last year as a potential lure for a Milwaukee Bucks-owned franchise in the NBA Development League, but the Bucks announced earlier this month that the team will play at a new arena in Oshkosh, WI. Racine has previously been linked to the USHL, however, as Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold has expressed interest in bringing a franchise to the city if the proposal comes to fruition.

RELATED STORIES: Racine Takes Closer Look at Arena ProposalRacine to Continue Pursuit of New Arena; Craig Leipold Divulges USHL Plans for RacineLeipold: I’ll Help Bring USHL to RacineCould USHL Join Bucks in Racine?

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