The Milwaukee Bucks are set to have new ownership for the first time in nearly thirty years. Current owner and former Senator of Wisconsin, Herb Kohl, has agreed to sell the franchise to Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry, billionaire investors who vow to keep the team in the city and have already matched Kohl’s hundred million dollar donation to build a new stadium for the team. Kohl never once considered selling to investors who had plans on moving the team to another city, “My priority has always been and will continue to be keeping the Bucks in Milwaukee… This announcement reinforces that Milwaukee is and will continue to be the home of the Bucks. Wes and Marc agree, and they share my commitment to the long-term success of this franchise in Milwaukee,” said Kohl.
Steve Balmer and Chris Hansen, investors who nearly moved the Kings to Seattle, were in talks initially, but with them not planning on keeping the Bucks home here in Milwaukee, they were eliminated from contention. The BMO Harris Bradley Center is the third oldest arena in the NBA, originally opening in 1988; the only two arenas that are older are Oracle Arena (G.S. Warriors), who are planning on moving back to San Francisco, and Madison Square Garden (N.Y. Knicks), which recently underwent a billion dollar face lift. It’s very difficult to get backing and fan support for a new arena when the team hasn’t won a playoff series in almost a decade and a half, being especially poor this season, winning only 15 games (worst in the NBA, even behind the Philadelphia 76ers who went on a 26 game losing streak this season). The only bright spot for the organization is that they are nearly guaranteed a top three pick in this years NBA draft (already clinching the number one spot in the draft lottery). Hopefully a young prospect chosen in this years draft, matched with new ownership will mean a fresh start for a team in need of just that.
Article by Jalen Perry