Bucks Owner Herb Kohl Committed To New Arena, Keeping Team In Milwaukee
Bucks Owner Herb Kohl yesterday said that he is "confident a new facility will be built to take the place of the BMO Harris Bradley Center," according to Bob Wolfley of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. Kohl added that it is a "matter of when a new arena will be built, not if it will be built." He said, "We have to find a way and we will find a way. ... The question is when and how. But we will because that is the future of not only the Bucks. ... Milwaukee and Wisconsin need a 21st century sports and entertainment complex." Kohl repeatedly said that the new facility is "not just for his basketball team," but a "multiple-purpose entertainment center." He said, "We take 40 or 41 or 42 dates a year. And a facility holds upwards of 200 events in a year. So it’s really important not just for basketball but for the community, for economic development." Kohl said a new arena "will see to it that the Bucks stay here." The city and team "sort of need each other." Kohl said of how long he is going to stay owner of the Bucks, "For the foreseeable future. I have always said I will own the team until it’s sold at some point to somebody or some group that ... is dedicated to keeping it here in Wisconsin." A reporter noted that officials from Marquette Univ. and the AHL Milwaukee Admirals are "not heard calling for a new arena, that concert-goers to the Bradley Center appear satisfied with the building as a venue." The Bucks "alone as an organization are out there calling for a new arena." Kohl said, "I think if, as many of us do, traveled around the country, and saw the facilities that we compete with ... there would be an understanding that we need the new facility" (JSONLINE.com, 6/3).
STUDY GROUP: Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce President Timothy Sheehy yesterday said that he expects to "name a panel of business leaders later this month which will work with the MMAC to gather facts related to a new, multipurpose arena." In Milwaukee, Wolfley & Gardner note the group is expected to "study whether a new arena is needed, where it might be located and how construction would be financed." The group also is expected to "study whether a makeover of the BMO Harris Bradley Center is feasible." No decisions have "been made on the best way to finance a new multipurpose arena, although some business leaders have suggested enactment of a sales tax could be used to finance not only a new arena, but help other cultural institutions in the region." Kohl has said that he will "make a significant personal financial commitment toward a new arena." But Kohl has "not said how much that commitment would be" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/4).