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Milwaukee Bucks Planning $1 Billion Arena Project: Latest Details and Reaction

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 8, 2015

@DougRussell

The Milwaukee Bucks have been planning a full-scale rebranding centered around a new arena ever since the franchise sold to Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry nearly a year ago. Details on that overhaul, though, appear to extend well beyond anyone's wildest imagination.

Don Walker of the Journal Sentinel reported Tuesday that the team is currently planning a $1 billion project, with half going to the arena itself and the other $500 million to development of the surrounding Park East corridor.

Walker provided details on the development plans:

The development would include a 700,000-square-foot, 17,000-seat arena; a 60,000-square-foot public plaza, anticipated as a sort of live entertainment space on what is largely a city-owned parking ramp at the corner of N. 4th St. and W. Highland Ave.; and arena parking across the street in the Park East area. Total amount of space just for that portion of the development: 1 million square feet.

The project also calls for the construction of a new practice facility and the demolition of the BMO Harris Bradley Center, the Bucks' current arena. The team plans to unveil its construction plans Wednesday, though there are a number of hurdles to clear before they can come to fruition.

Walker's report indicates not all of the necessary funds have been accounted for. Lasry and Edens have pledged $150 million, former owner Herb Kohl earmarked $100 million of his haul from the purchase for a new arena and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has proposed a $220 million package in the form of state bonds. That would still require a fundraiser in excess of half a billion before any type of construction can begin.

In theory, Wednesday will be an exciting time to be a Bucks fan. In reality, though, we're likely far off from this blueprint taking shapeβ€”if it does at all.

Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter.

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