SBD/June 24, 2014/Facilities

Design Firms To Present Proposals To Bucks Owners For Arena, Lasry Divulges Few Details

Lasry said additional local investors will be announced around July 15
The process of building a new downtown arena for the Bucks will "get a jump-start" tomorrow when "three or four stadium design firms present plans" to co-Owners Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry in N.Y., according to Charles Gardner of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. Lasry yesterday said, "We're taking that lead and making sure we know what's happening first. Once we have something we believe will work and is sort of a reasonable cost, then at least we can go to the city and state and say, 'Here's what we think. Can we do this?'" Lasry also said that he and Edens "plan to announce additional local investors in the franchise on or about July 15." He added that he "anticipates an arena cost" of $350-400M. Lasry: "We hope to do it as a partnership with the people of Milwaukee and the people of Wisconsin." Lasry also said that he "expects a new arena to seat 16,000 to 18,000 fans with more seats in the lower bowl." Approximately 10,000 seats at the BMO Harris Bradley Center "are in the upper deck." Meanwhile, Lasry said that he had a "location in mind for a new arena, but declined to say where." He added he and Edens would have a clear picture of "what we are prepared to push for in the next couple of months." Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce President Timothy Sheehy said that the information "would be shared with the MMAC arena panel, which is working with the Hammes Co., on a financial model for the proposed arena" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/24).

NOT BUSINESS, STRICTLY PERSONAL: In Milwaukee, Rich Kirchen notes Lasry threw out the first pitch prior to last night's Nationals-Brewers game. Although Brewers Owner Mark Attanasio has "expressed an interest in financially supporting a new arena where the Bucks would play," Lasry said that yesterday's visit to Miller Park was "more about fun than business." Lasry: "I don’t think tonight’s the night for us to discuss that. I think we’ll have plenty of time to discuss it over the next couple months" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 6/24).

BIG BUCKS, NO WHAMMIES: Lasry said that it will "not be a financial issue on the new owners' part to pay players or seek out free agents." In Milwaukee, Charles Gardner notes the Bucks have been a team that has "stayed out of luxury tax territory and has tried to stay close to or just over the league salary cap." But Lasry said, "We have to increase our payroll." Asked if free agents would want to come to Milwaukee, Lasry said, "Nobody's going to come to Milwaukee if the team did what it did last year." He added, "If the Bucks are doing well, you're going to be able to attract people" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/24).
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