could neighbor Bradley Center
Reported by the MSNBC News
Wisconsin - Representatives of the Bradley Center are talking
with the Forest County Potawatomi about the possibility of developing
a casino near the downtown Milwaukee sports and entertainment
venue. Ulice Payne, chairman of the Bradley Center board, confirmed
he has held "preliminary discussions" with the Potawatomi,
which already operate a casino in the Menomonee Valley, about
locating a downtown casino on a parking lot adjacent to the
Bradley Center. The tribe could lease the 3-acre lot on the
northeast corner of North Sixth Street and West Highland Boulevard
or consider combining the parking lot with other parcels that
are also owned by the Bradley Center to assemble a site.
had a number of discussions with them about several possibilities,"
Payne said in an interview.
County Potawatomi attorney general Jeff Crawford said he was
willing to listen to pitches to move the casino,
which is currently at 1721 W. Canal St., to downtown. The tribe
has proposed a $240 million expansion of the Menomonee Valley
location, but the project is on hold until the Potawatomi can
reached a new gaming compact with the state of Wisconsin.
long as there is not a hole in the ground (for the expansion)
in the Menomonee Valley, we still have time to discuss this,"
Crawford said. "We want to continue to talk to the business
community to see if relocating the casino to downtown would
be good for Milwaukee."
opening of a downtown casino would need the approval of the
city of Milwaukee, the state and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.
and Payne dismissed speculation that the tribe would purchase
the Bradley Center and renovate it for a casino, with the Bradley
Center using the proceeds to build a new downtown arena.
like that has been put on the table for us to consider,"
said the biggest question about moving the casino downtown would
be the amount of assistance the tribe would receive from the
city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County because of the financial
investment it has already made in the Menomonee Valley.
haven't seen any solid proposals yet, but we remain concerned
about how our significant financial investment in the valley
would be handled," he said.
County Executive Scott Walker said he would be willing to consider
a downtown casino near the Bradley Center. In 2004, Walker and
then-Acting Milwaukee Mayor Marvin Pratt formed a task force
to study the possibility of a downtown casino. However, after
Mayor Tom Barrett was elected, Walker said the city backed out
of the task force because Barrett "had no interest in pursuing
said he would be willing to discuss a downtown site with the
would make some sense for us to take a hard look at this right
now before it is too late and the Potawatomi start construction
in the valley," Walker said.
downtown casino would yield nearly 5,500 more jobs and $27 million
a year in spending over more modest increases generated from
an expansion at the casino's current location, according to
a recent study funded by Juneau Avenue Partners, developer of
the $395 million PabstCity entertainment and housing complex
proposed for the former Pabst Brewery. The study found that
a downtown casino also would mean $36 million more in state
income and sales taxes and higher casino payments for the city
and county. Juneau Avenue
has discussed luring the Potawatomi to its project.
said negotiations are continuing with the state on a new gaming
compact. The state Supreme Court ruled in May that Gov. Jim
Doyle did not have the authority to sign a deal with the Forest
County Potawatomi. The court said the deal did not have a firm
termination date, illegally suspended the state's immunity from
lawsuits and wrongly allowed the tribe to offer new games.
Potawatomi is also awaiting a ruling from the state Supreme
Court on a lawsuit filed by Dairyland
Greyhound Park in Kenosha that contends Indian gambling
in the state is unconstitutional. Dairyland
initially filed the lawsuit in October 2001 to prevent then-Gov.
Scott McCallum from entering into any compacts and trying to
shut down the casinos.
Court of Appeals passed the case to the state Supreme Court.
However, the Supreme Court deadlocked on a 3-3 vote and sent
it back to the Court of Appeals. Crawford said the Court of
Appeals recently sent the case back to the Supreme Court, where
it is awaiting a decision on whether it would be heard again.