Miller Park District head says "no easy ways" to pay for new arena

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Miller Park District head says "no easy ways" to pay for new arena

By Lacey Crisp. CREATED Apr 28, 2014

MILWAUKEE -- "I think it will be emotional and contentious. They always are," said Mike Duckett, Executive Director of the Southeast Wisconsin Miller Park District.

When it comes to the fight over paying for a new stadium, Duckett is an expert. He's the head of the Miller Park District, and explains residents are still heated about the Miller Park stadium tax.

"It still is a lightning rod, very emotional. Yes, there are people who find it upsetting," Duckett said.

The grand total for Miller Park was just about $400 million. The estimated cost for the proposed downtown arena is between $400-500 million, with $200 million already paid for. Each county resident pays about $10 dollars a year for Miller Park.

If lawmakers decide to move forward with another 5-county tax, the costs would likely be similar. Duckett adds there are no easy ways to pay for a new arena.

"The easy answer is to find a way to do this privately, but it might be easy for one group, it's hard for another. It's a tough choice," Duckett said.

Duckett says people ask all the time if the Miller Park stadium tax can just be extended to pay for a new arena. The answer is no. The legislation was written specifically so when Miller Park is paid off, the tax ends. That should be between 2018 and 2020.