An artist's concept of the new Milwaukee Bucks arena.

An artist’s concept of the new Milwaukee Bucks arena.

The governor, legislative leaders, and local leaders are expected to announce a Milwaukee arena financing plan this afternoon.

Governor Scott Walker said his hope has been to find agreement among the county, the city, the state, and the private sector to keep the Milwaukee Bucks in Wisconsin. “We know one thing for sure, that is if we don’t do anything, we know the NBA Board of Governors have said they would move the Bucks, and that would cost state taxpayers over the next 20 years at least $419 million.”

AUDIO: Walker said the area is important for the entire state of Wisconsin.

The governor had proposed borrowing $220 million to help finance the $500 million project, but Republican leaders aren’t on board with that, saying city and county government should take on a greater share of the cost. Walker included the bonding plan in his two-year budget, but he’s OK with addressing the arena as separate legislation. He met with legislative leaders Wednesday.

“Whether it’s in the budget or separate piece of legislation, we’re confident … we’re willing to work with them on what is the best way to work with the legislature on that.”

Walker will hold a press conference this afternoon at his Capitol office with more details on a long-awaited plan, which is part of a billion-dollar multi-purpose arena and sports and entertainment district to help revitalize downtown Milwaukee. The plan includes restaurants, bars, and office space on up to 30 acres of land.

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