Racine still pursuing downtown arena despite Bucks’ decision

Mayor: hockey team committed, looking for another tenant

Rendering of the D-League arena in Oshkosh.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:13 pm

Racine Mayor John Dickert said Wednesday the city will continue pursuing a new hotel and convention center downtown, despite the Milwaukee Bucks’ decision to locate its D-League team in Oshkosh.

Rendering of the D-League arena in Oshkosh.
Rendering of the D-League arena in Oshkosh.

“While it is disappointing to not get the Milwaukee Bucks organization as a tenant, this by no means makes the project any less critical,” Dickert said.

“For as long as I have been mayor, Racine business leaders have been asking for another hotel downtown. The best way to attract good hoteliers is to provide an on-going source of visitors – and that is the function of the proposed Event Center.”

Racine has a commitment for a hockey team and will continue to look for another tenant, including an indoor football or soccer team, Dickert said.


“All the economic benefits we anticipate will continue to be possible with the addition of the Event Center and Hotel,” Dickert said, adding that the new facility would employ more than 800 people.

In August, the city announced it was considering plans for a $40 million arena, which would be located on vacant land at the southeast corner of Lake Avenue and Gas Light Drive in downtown Racine, with an attached 135-room hotel that could host a junior hockey team and potentially the planned Milwaukee Bucks D-League team.

The Bucks announced today it would locate its farm team in Oshkosh.

A study done by Chicago-based Hunden Strategic Partners on the 3,800-seat arena, found the facility could have a dramatic impact on downtown businesses and quality of life.

The study does not establish a specific plan for how to pay for the arena.

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