BREAKING: Milwaukee Arena Passed in State Assembly


At approximately 12:45 PM today, the Wisconsin State Assembly passed the Milwaukee sports and entertainment arena deal in its current form. The final vote was 52 to 34, with 35 Republicans and 17 Democrats voting in favor of the bill. Due to the timing of the extraordinary vote, some representatives were not there.

Speaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly Robin Vos (Republican) and Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (Democrat) both spoke (together) at a press conference before the vote, a rare sight for Wisconsin politics. The picture of them together at the podium was a symbol of the bipartisanship and cooperation between both parties to reach a solution for the Bucks and Milwaukee. “Today is the day the Assembly is going to pass Bucks arena plan,” Vos said at the press conference before the vote. Jason Kidd was also in attendance posing with legislators for pictures before the voting began.

Bucks President Peter Feigin made a statement soon after the vote.

“Today, our collective effort to create a world-class sports and entertainment district in the heart of Milwaukee took a monumental step forward thanks to the bipartisan leadership of elected officials in Madison. We’re incredibly grateful for the commitment of state, county and city officials to work together in a historic fashion to help shape this public-private partnership. There’s still work to be done and we look forward to building on this progress with the city and county, but the passage of legislation today makes our future much clearer. The Bucks will not only remain home in Wisconsin, but we’ll soon begin a transformative economic development project that will help revitalize our community and region.”

There were reports last night that the Assembly leaders were confident the bill would pass, but it is refreshing to see the report be official. Moving forward, the bill will now go to Governor Scott Walker’s desk to be signed before heading to the Milwaukee City Council for final approval in September. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett will address the media at 3 PM today about the Bucks arena financing in relation to the City Council and its status moving forward. The Bucks and government officials have stated that they must start the project by October of this year.

You can find several statements from Wisconsin legislators about their vote here.


Image courtesy of Milwaukee Bucks.

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