The City of Racine is one of three cities in the running to house a new, D-league basketball team, which would mean the city needs an arena.
A D-league team would essentially operate like a minor league team for the Milwaukee Bucks. Oshkosh and Sheboygan are also in the running.
A $40 million proposal for a 3,800 seat arena that would also house a United States Hockey League team and could host special events was presented to the Racine County Board Tuesday night, a story in The Journal Times reads. The new building would go up on the vacant lot at Gaslight Drive and Lake Avenue, just east of Main Street.
A 135-room hotel is also proposed, the story continues, with the new development expected to attract upwards of 300,000 people per year and inject around $13 million into the local economy.
The issue of course, is how to pay for it. Another story in the newspaper quotes Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold as saying he’d be willing to lend his support, though what that looks like remains to be seen. Leipold is a Racine resident married to Helen Johnson-Leipold, chairman and chief executive officer of Johnson Outdoors.
“If a Downtown arena is something the Racine community wants, and will support, then I commit my best efforts to bring a United States Hockey League team to the new arena,” a statement from Leipold is quoted. “The excitement of hockey would be a great fit for our hometown.”
County and city officials are expected to meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Ives Grove Office Complex, 14200 Washington Avenue, to discuss financing options.