SBD/Issue 137/Franchises

Predators Owner Craig Leipold In Talks To Buy NBA's Bucks

Predators Owner Craig Leipold, a WI native, "is trying to form a local [Milwaukee] investor group to buy" the Bucks, according to Don Walker of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. Sources said that Leipold has "contacted a number of business leaders" in the Milwaukee area "looking for financial backing to buy the team" from U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI). Another source said that Leipold "also has had conversations with members" of the Bradley Center's BOD. The source: "They were specifically related to his interest in exploring the possibility of purchasing the franchise." Brewers President Ulice Payne, who is also Chair of the Bradley Center BOD, "declined to discuss specifics but indicated through a spokesman that the Bradley Center was prepared to work with the Bucks, the NBA and interested parties to keep basketball in Milwaukee." Sources also said that Leipold would "not necessarily emerge as the lead investor in the venture." But Walker adds Leipold "clearly would have the highest profile because he already owns a professional sports franchise." Predators VP/Communications Gerry Helper said, "He has been taking a preliminary look and certainly wants to reiterate his interest in seeing the Bucks stay in Milwaukee." Walker notes Leipold "faces no impediment if he buys into the NBA. NBA bylaws do not prohibit owners from owning teams in other sports leagues" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 4/9).

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