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Community groups may oppose new Milwaukee sports arena

MILWAUKEE (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Churches, charities, and neighborhood groups are banding together to have their say on a proposed new arena in Milwaukee. The Common Ground coalition will decide tomorrow whether to oppose tax money for a new arena unless $150-to-250 million are saved for better schools, parks, and playgrounds.

The N-B-A is trying to get Milwaukee to build a new arena for the Bucks that would replace the 26-year-old BMO Harris Bradley Center. The building is also the home of Marquette men's basketball team and numerous concerts.

A committee of the Milwaukee commerce association has been meeting with a consultant on a proposed funding plan. Besides the arena, the plan hopes to shore up other cultural and tourist attractions in Milwaukee. The goal is to make it more politically palatable, after some of Milwaukee's suburban counties have already come out against public money for a new city arena.

Common Ground says kids deserve better facilities just like the Bucks do. A study last summer showed that two-thirds of youth athletic and recreation facilities were rated as "terrible," poor, or fair.

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