Ald. Witkowski wants new arena, convention center to be one discussion

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by Matt Doyle

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee alderman Terry Witkowski says the Bradley Center and the Wisconsin Center need to be one discussion.  He thinks that because the two make up a large section of downtown milwaukee.  However, he believes the two are controlled by separate entities with competing interests.

Witkowski says Milwaukee now competes with cities like Grand Rapids, Michigan and Omaha, Nebraska when it comes to convention space.

Witkowski says he's concerned about the future of the downtown space if these discussions don't merge.

He said there needs to be discussions about what buildings stay and which buildings go. 

Witkowski also said there needs to be coordination in the effort to improve downtown.  He says it's counterproductive to have the Wisconsin Center district saying one thing and the people pushing for a new Bucks arena doing another. 

"We're planning for the future here," Witkowski said.  "We're really looking down the road. As I indicated, there is no firm plan that anyone has come out with at this point in time. Everyone is still in the idea stage, the formulation of what this would be, where this would be, how would we pay for it."

State Representative Josh Zepnick appeared at the news conference with a differing view.  He thinks the new arena needs to be built on a site near Potawatomi Casino.

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