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Cost for New Downtown Racine Arena/Event Center: $55 Million

New downtown Racine arena

The cost of a new downtown Racine arena and events center has risen to $55 million, but the city has identified several revenue streams, including TIF financing, to cover the cost of the project.

The last projection for a new downtown Racine arena that would host, another things, a potential USHL team, had been between $43 million and $49 million. But it doesn’t sound like city officials were taken aback by the new higher number, already having in hand a funding plan.

About 14 percent of the arena cost would be covered by a hike in local property taxes, amounting to $12 more per $100,000 of home value. The city would bond for $39.7 million of the project cost over 30 years, to be paid back with increased taxed generated by the project (including $600,000 annually from the adjoining hotel), as well as the proceeds from a TIF set up for the arena and other city TIFs. Another $7.7 million could come from a private partner on the project. From the Racine Journal-Times:

David Stone of Hunden Strategic Partners, the firm that conducted the project’s initial feasibility study in August, estimates that the event center could host 117 events annually beginning in its third year, with the first two years totaling 104 and 109 events respectively. He estimated that those events would draw 190,000 to 200,000 people annually….

City officials once again compared the proposed Racine project to the construction of the PPL Center in Allentown, Pa. That project resulted in $1 billion in private investment into Allentown’s downtown, although the city invested $300,000, according to Stu Zadra of the Hammes Co., the city’s project representative in the event center planning.

As noted, a USHL team could be part of the tenant mix, as Minnesota Wild (NHL) owner Craig Leipold, a Racine native, has said he would assist in bringing a team to the Racine market.

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