If the Milwaukee Brewers are going to get state money to help maintain their ballpark, the city of Milwaukee is going to have to kick in.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on Tuesday said there is growing support to see a buy-in from Milwaukee and Milwaukee County.
“I think it’s fair to say that most people around the state would expect that they have some kind of a participatory role,” Vos said at a news conference. “Has that been defined? No. Has a number been arrived at? No. But the idea of saying that the state is going to bear all of the responsibility for a local project is probably not realistic either.”
The Brewers need between $300 million and $500 million for ongoing maintenance at American Family Field over the next 20 years.
Gov. Tony Evers dropped a proposal back in February that would have used $290 million from Wisconsin’s budget surplus to pay for the work.
Vos has said that’s not going to happen. Vos also said the governor’s announcement has made it much more difficult to find support at the Capitol for a Brewers ballpark deal.
Vos continues to say he wants to model any deal for the Brewers after the deal then-Gov. Scott Walker helped negotiate for the Bucks and Fiserv Forum.
“We saw the way that deal was structured under Gov. Walker for Fiserv Forum, where we know that the municipalities that got the biggest investment of not just the team and the energy that was there, but the revenues that were produced from it, were Milwaukee and Milwaukee County,” Vos explained.
Vos has said in the past that he wants a stand-alone deal for the Brewers so that Milwaukee and Milwaukee County Democratic lawmakers cannot vote against the funding deal, then reap all of the benefits.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Tuesday reported that most Milwaukee and county leaders are not commenting on Vos’ thoughts.
Only Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson’s office responded.
“The topic has been raised in discussions with elected leaders in Madison. We are at the earliest stages of those talks,” the mayor’s director of communications Jeff Fleming told the paper. “The city currently has no money available to consider additional expenditures.”
Vos is not saying just when he expects to have a final proposal for the Brewers’ ballpark, or when a vote may come.