The announcement from Bucks President Peter Feigin – that a financing deal must be finalized in the next 10 days for the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee to consider – caught Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald by surprise on Tuesday.
“I would say this – I don’t know that we necessarily need ten days,” Fitzgerald said. “I think, if we’re going to be able to accomplish this, we’ve found a pathway that is going to work.”
“All of these things are kind of swirling right now, but the revenue stream that needs to be set up for a 20 year period, I think can be achieved in working directly with the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, and the city can do that, and certainly the county has the ability to do that,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald said that the amount loaned by the board could be as much as $220 million towards the projected $500 million costs of a new facility for the NBA team. “There’s no bonding in this at all,” he said. “This is a straight cash loan from the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands directly to whatever the new entity is that would be created in Milwaukee to manage the new arena.”
Fitzgerald meets today with representatives from the Bucks, the city and county, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and, maybe, Governor Scott Walker.
“I get the political dynamic right now. He’s out there running for president, there are certain other issues right now with bundling for Senator Clinton,” Fitzgerald said, referring to a pledge by Bucks co-owner Mark Lasry to raise $250 million for Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.
UDPATE: A team statement, released late Tuesday, attempted to backtrack on Feigin’s earlier comments. It indicated that “there’s no immediate deadline for a financing plan, and we’re not creating one. We’re simply hopeful that progress continues with our partners, and throughout the legislative and political process.”