A number of cities in eastern Wisconsin are bidding for the franchise rights to the Milwaukee Bucks’ NBA D-League team. Racine, Wisconsin is one of the cities currently involved in the bidding, and their proposed bid involves building a brand new 3800-seat arena that would also host a USHL team.
The proposed project would cost $40 million to build the arena, attached to a 135-room hotel in downtown Racine.
On Wednesday, Minnesota Wild owner and Racine resident Craig Leipold threw his support behind the project, saying that if the arena project was built, he would work to bring a USHL franchise to the new arena:
“If a Downtown arena is something the Racine community wants, and will support, then I commit my best efforts to bring a United States Hockey League team to the new arena,” Leipold said in a statement. “The excitement of hockey would be a great fit for our hometown.”
Racine, with a brand new arena and a near-perfect geographic fit, centrally located between Green Bay, Madison, and Chicago in the USHL’s Eastern Division, seems like it would be a no-brainer for the USHL.
The project is still in the early phases—city officials will meet next week to discuss how to finance the project—but so far, it appears that Racine could be an excellent target for future USHL expansion.