MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Bradley Center hosts some 200 events a year, from sports to concerts to other shows. Now, many are asking how a new arena could replace this one?
When the sale of the Milwaukee Bucks was announced, the city was filled with optimism, but now, as the community debates how a new arena will be paid for, some of that optimism is fading.
"There just seems to be a tendency -- at least the initial response from a lot of people in the community is 'no, we can't do that, it's going to cost too much, it'll be too hard'," said Rich Kirchen, from the Milwaukee Business Journal.
New owner Wesley Edens says the arena could cost $400 million dollars or more.
"Other similar arenas have been constructed for $400 million dollars, some a little more, some a little less," said Edens.
Edens and his business partner, Mark Lasry, are pledging $100 million dollars. Former owner, Herb Kohl, will match that number, but where will the remaining $200 million dollars come from?
Milwaukee Common Council President, Michael Murphy, says it won't come solely from Milwaukee taxpayers.
"It simply is a non-starter. I feel very uncomfortable going to the tax payers and saying, guess what, we're going to tear down a building that's built like Fort Knox, but we're not going to tear down 1,000 homes that are a blighting influence in a neighborhood," said Murphy.
Kirchen wrote an in-depth cover story about that examined public versus private financing.
"Over the last 15 years, there have been 13 arenas built -- anywhere from 3 percent to 100 percent public financing. There were four that were paid for with 100 percent public money, but in between there's a mix about 50 to 60 percent typically," said Kirchen.
On the flip side, the Golden State Warriors are building a new arena at a cost of $600 million dollars, all privately financed.
Glitzy arenas don't always pay off. The $1 billion dollar Barclays Center in Brooklyn was projected to generate $76 million dollars in revenue during it's first year, but produced only a third of that.
Murphy says if a referendum were held today, it would fail.
In recent years, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Houston, and Charlotte all got new arenas with 100 percent public financing. The one thing it's safe to say -- is that won't be the case with any new Milwaukee arena.