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Can Brewers stadium deal take notes from La Crosse and the Loggers?



FILE - La Crosse Loggers home field, Copeland Park. (PHOTO: @laxloggers on Facebook)

Dan Kapanke, co-owner of the La Crosse Loggers, and Adam Hoffer, Tax Foundation director, joined to talk about the Milwaukee Brewers stadium funding situation. 

La Crosse Talk PM airs weekdays at 5:06 p.m. Listen on the WIZM app, online here, or on 92.3 FM / 1410 AM / 106.7 FM (north of Onalaska). Find all the podcasts here or subscribe to La Crosse Talk PM wherever you get your podcasts.

The Brewers, which lease the stadium essentially from the state, and the Wisconsin Legislature are negotiating stadium upgrades that are hovering between $290-$400 million. 


Kapanke is part of a coalition of business owners promoting keeping the Brewers in Milwaukee, while Hoffer taught sports business at UW-La Crosse for a decade.

We discuss whether this debate is political between the Legislature and governor, if tax money to renovate the stadium is good economically — or should we let the rich owners renovate the stadium? — and how the Loggers and the city of La Crosse have worked out a similar deal.

The Brewers are spending over $500,000 lobbying the Legislature to get a deal down, so we dissect what that might look like. The MLB commissioner, Rob Manfred, has also put his two cents in the conversation, more or less threatening a deal get done of the team will leave.

I did throw a few half-baked ideas at Kapanke and Hoffer, including selling the stadium to the Brewers for $1 and building a new stadium altogether because of its awkward current location and the price tag to renovate.

Wisconsin continues to sit on $4 billion in budget surplus going on 19 months. With that, one more half-baked idea I threw out there was how — with that surplus — the state missed out on buying the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Bucks went through a similar fight back in 2015 to fund a new arena and won, but their situation is a bit different because the team owns the arena. The team just sold to the Cleveland Browns owners, who bought a 25% majority stake in the team, valued now at $3.5 billion. 

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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