SBD/May 7, 2012/Facilities

Bucks Owner Seeking New Arena And Will Make Significant Financial Commitment

Herb Kohl will retire from U.S. Senate this year and focus more on Bucks
Bucks Owner and U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) Friday said that the time "is now to find a way to finance and build a new multipurpose arena to replace the Bradley Center,” according to Don Walker of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. For the first time, Kohl said that he “was willing to make a personal financial commitment toward a new facility, an amount he noted would not be insignificant.” Bradley Center BOD Chair Marc Marotta said Kohl's statement was a "positive development." Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce President Tim Sheehy said that Kohl's interest “in jump-starting the planning process, the drive to engage business support for the Bradley Center over the next few years and the senator's own financial commitment help set up ‘a transparent, healthy dialogue on how we put the pieces together.’" Kohl said that the franchise “was working on plans for a new facility to replace the aging Bradley Center, though he added that no site is under discussion.” Kohl said, "We are actively working on it, and we'll get it in high gear, I hope soon, on trying to accomplish our goal.” He added that he “could not speculate on the method of financing an arena to replace the Bradley Center.” But he added that it “probably would be a combination of public and private funds.” Walker noted Kohl “is retiring from the U.S. Senate this year after serving four terms and said he planned to spend more time with the Bucks” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL, 5/5). In Milwaukee, Michael Hunt wrote as long as the arena-financial package “is fair and heavily tipped toward Kohl and private investors, I’m on board with anything that helps advance this city.” But “only if the Bucks help themselves.” Hunt: "When the movers and shakers in this city meet to plan a new arena, the elephant in the conference room is always the Bucks' record.” It would be “so much easier to get the project rolling if the team would win” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL, 5/6).
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