Common Ground votes against new arena

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Common Ground’s Fair Play Assembly, a group of more than 600 congregations, nonprofits, small businesses and schools dedicated to greatness in public spaces, voted yesterday to oppose a new Milwaukee arena unless $150 to $200 million is invested in public Milwaukee County facilities that benefit children.

Common Ground said its research shows that amount is needed to bring Milwaukee County’s outdoor recreational facilities up to “excellent facility” standards.

“It is clear to Common Ground Fair Play leaders that the Cultural and Entertainment Capital Needs Task Force on which we serve is not the “power table” where decisions will be made on the financing mechanism for a New Bucks Arena,” the group said in a campaign briefing to members. “The task force sees itself as a ‘pace car.’ It is also clear that there will be an effort to include facilities beyond the New Bucks Arena as beneficiaries of a potential non-partisan tax increase. We want Fair Play to be one of those entities.”

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The group plans to send at least 50 delegates to the Milwaukee Bucks game at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in downtown Milwaukee on April 16 to “show our commitment to fair play.”

If the investment in fair play is approved, the group would support public funding for a new arena.

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