It was just last week that Milwaukee Bucks President Peter Feigin told Wisconsin lawmakers that short of the state funding $250 million for a new arena, the team would likely end up playing in either Seattle or Las Vegas.
Not taking such a threat idly, the Wisconsin State Senate passed a bill to fund a new Bucks stadium in Milwaukee:
Wisconsin Senate just passed a bill to fund new arena for Bucks. This appears to assure construction & Bucks' future in Milwaukee.
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 15, 2015
The final vote came out 21-10.
Upon hearing of the vote, Feigin had this to say (via NBA.com):
“Today’s vote is a significant step forward in our collective effort to build a new sports and entertainment district in Wisconsin. We appreciate the bipartisan leadership in Madison for bringing this transformative partnership one step closer to reality. We’re optimistic that this financing package will receive support in the Assembly and look forward to working with state, county and city officials.”
This isn’t the last hurdle to secure a new arena in Wisconsin. The matter will now head to the state assembly where a vote is expected soon. Considering the bill signed by the senate on Wednesday drew bipartisan supports, it’s hard to imagine the assembly doing anything other than supporting it.
Earlier in the week, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had indicated that it wasn’t plausible for a team to move to Vegas. That left the city of Seattle—without a team since the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City in 2008—as the only reasonable alternative to Milwaukee.
Unfortunately for fans in the Pacific Northwest, Wednesday’s vote seems to throw that possibility out the window.
Photo: USA Today Sports