1:24pm: Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett has signed the funding measure, Daykin tweets.
12:30pm: The Milwaukee Common Council has voted to approve the city’s $47MM portion of the public funding for a new Bucks arena, meaning the funding plan for the project has crossed the final barrier, reports Tom Daykin of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The $500MM building still needs the council’s approval for its design, with that matter likely to come to the table this fall, Daykin adds. Still, it appears the arena is well on its way to becoming a reality, even though minority owner and team executive Mike Fascitelli recently admitted the arena might not open until the fall of 2018, one year after the NBA’s deadline, according to Daykin.
The league has nonetheless given only positive feedback of late, at least through public channels, on the progress of the public funding approval process, so it doesn’t appear as though Milwaukee is in any jeopardy of losing the team. The NBA holds the right to seize the team from its owners and sell it to investors who would move the franchise out of town, a threat that appeared more ominous when the funding was bogged down in the Wisconsin state legislature this spring, as Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com documented then.
The state, Milwaukee County and the City of Milwaukee are ponying up half the cost of the arena, with current and former Bucks owners paying the other $250MM of the estimated cost.