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Tracy Kosbau
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July 7, 2015

Wisconsin Restaurant Association Supports Keeping the Bucks

The Wisconsin Restaurant Association strongly supports building a new Bucks Arena to keep the Bucks in Milwaukee. “It makes sense financially because of the energy and vitality a new arena and the ancillary development will bring to Downtown Milwaukee. A professional sports team such as the Bucks helps the tourism economy. Milwaukee Bucks says ‘big league city’ to the rest of the state and nationally. This will encourage visitors to come to the city and the state for both business and pleasure,” says Ed Lump, President & CEO of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association. “The new Bucks Arena will help Milwaukee’s vibrant restaurant scene continue to develop and thrive. It will help fill hotel rooms, restaurant seats and provide jobs.”

A new arena is an investment in the state’s largest city that has the potential to be a strong catalyst for business and can help create new and expanded venues. The Wisconsin Restaurant Association also believes in the need to expand the convention center in the near future.

Businesses in downtown Milwaukee are not the only ones who will benefit. In addition to frequenting downtown restaurants, fans also visit restaurants along routes leading into and out of the Milwaukee area. The restaurant association has heard from restaurant and tavern owners in neighboring towns who say their business will be affected if the Bucks leave Milwaukee. Fans throughout Wisconsin also love to watch their state team on TV at their local restaurant or tavern. All of this is hugely beneficial to restaurants and the economy.

A new arena also makes sense for the state of Wisconsin and taxpayers. If the Milwaukee Bucks don’t have a new arena to play in by the fall of 2017, the NBA will almost certainly pick up the team and move it to a different part of the country. Losing the Bucks will cost Wisconsin taxpayers at least $419 million over the next 20 years, while helping to finance a new arena will cost state taxpayers $80 million over the same period. Keeping the Bucks will save Wisconsin taxpayers $339 million, over 20 years.

The construction of the new arena, the Park East and other development will create or maintain thousands of jobs. Staffing the Bucks arena will maintain hundreds of jobs. People with jobs are customers of local businesses.

In sum, the arena project and ancillary development will be a catalyst for economic growth in Wisconsin’s largest city.

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Since 1933, the Wisconsin Restaurant Association has been dedicated
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Wisconsin Restaurant Association • 2801 Fish Hatchery Rd. • Madison, WI 53713 • Tel: 608.270.9950 • Toll Free: 800.589.3211 • FAX: 608.270.9960