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Reports: Bucks owner may be nearing sale of team

Apr 5, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

Terry Stotts Press Conference

For some time now owner Herb Kohl has been public about trying to bring in other investors to the Milwaukee Bucks, ideally someone to take over for him if not now within a few years.

That has the sharks circling — buyers looking to purchase the team and move it come 2016 when the lease in Milwaukee opens up have been inquiring (yes, Seattle was one). Kohl, as you would expect of a United States Senator, is loyal to his state and is looking for ownership to pump in cash but keep the team in Milwaukee. New NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been publicly on Kohl’s side about keeping the team in Milwaukee, but also has said there needs to be a new arena, with that process underway by 2017.

Kohl may be getting close to that goal and with it selling the team. How close depends on who you listen to.

Bill Simmons of Grantland/the ESPN NBA Countdown show tweeted out this Saturday.

Then the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel spoke with the broker Kohl has hired and as you would expect he pumped the breaks on this idea.

“There is a lot of speculation out there,” Greenberg told the Journal Sentinel. “There is an active and ongoing process with respect to the Bucks. But we are not going to comment on speculation.”

Greenberg, who is representing Kohl in the sale process, said it was “premature to make any sort of announcement of a possible sale. We do not intend on saying anything publicly.”

The lawyers don’t like to talk until the ink is dry on the contract. That said, it appears that some kind of ownership group seems to be stepping up to keep the team in Milwaukee and that a deal is nearing.

Sorry Seattle. I hate to say that the NBA is going to use you like the NFL uses Los Angeles for leverage, but….

  1. eugenesaxe1 - Apr 5, 2014 at 11:35 PM

    So, if they sell it to keep it local but require a new arena…and then they don’t get a new arena…? Really seems risky, when you consider SEA has already approved a new arena.

    • casualcommenter - Apr 6, 2014 at 2:54 AM

      It’ll be a game of who blinks first in that case.

      • eugenesaxe1 - Apr 6, 2014 at 3:55 AM

        Kind of a stupid game, but I guess that pretty well describes politics in general.

  2. packfan0492 - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:29 AM

    let them goto seattle. then bring in nhl team.

    • philtration - Apr 6, 2014 at 1:54 AM

      An NHL team in Milwaukee would be great.
      Then Chicago fans can have more home games to see the Blackhawks.play.

  3. gmsalpha - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:58 AM

    I don’t have much faith in the nice people of Milwaukee getting a new arena for the Bucks. I think the team will be sold to a group who pledge to work hard for a new arena to keep the team in town, but ultimately they’ll leave for greener pastures.

    But move them where, if not Seattle? I’d actually like to see a team in Louisville. But I understand Kansas City is the only other realistic suitor, since Las Vegas would never be allowed, and Virginia Beach is not capable of handling the NBA.

    • turkbox420 - Apr 6, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      Yes!!!Louisville!!! We have a brand new arena that is only being used by the Cards and for concerts plus we have Freedom Hall to be used for something. D-League at least.

      • philtration - Apr 6, 2014 at 5:11 PM

        I always thought that an NBA team in Louisville would work.
        The Louisville-Jefferson County Metro area has a larger population than Atlanta and they love basketball.
        It also moves the Bucks closer to every team in the division with the obvious exception of the Bulls.

        295 miles to Chicago. (92 right now)
        133 miles to Indianapolis. (279 right now)
        348 miles to Cleveland. (436 right now)
        360 miles to Detroit. (381 right now)

  4. adamsjohn714 - Apr 6, 2014 at 2:07 AM

    Why on Earth would the league want to keep the team in Milwaukee? It’d be much more profitable to have the team in Seattle. Heck, NY and LA could both support a third team. I thought it was a business.

    • eugenesaxe1 - Apr 6, 2014 at 3:52 AM

      NY needs one good team before trying for a third.

      • adamsjohn714 - Apr 6, 2014 at 4:16 AM

        Being good doesn’t seem like a requirement for making money in NY.

    • adoombray - Apr 6, 2014 at 9:37 AM

      There was no reason to keep the NBA in Sacramento either, but the people of Sac did what they had to do to keep their team. You can’t just relocate franchises because its better for the overall league profit, you have to show loyalty to fanbases you’ve developed over the years. While the next hardcore Bucks fan I meet will be the first, it would do permanent damage to the NBA’s credibility if they didn’t let the team stay there if Kohl does it right.

      • turkbox420 - Apr 6, 2014 at 11:29 AM

        Why erase Kareem and Oscar`s History?

      • philtration - Apr 6, 2014 at 4:54 PM

        Oscar played 10 years in Cincinnati and 4 in Milwaukee.
        Kareem played 14 years in L.A. and 6 in Milwaukee.

      • adamsjohn714 - Apr 6, 2014 at 6:50 PM

        I understand there might be short term repercussions and pissed off fans in Milwaukee. There’s going to be a lot more people buying tickets in the new city. There won’t be any permanent damage. Plenty of teams have been moved and they’re all appreciating in value exponentially. I get why an individual owner might want to keep a team somewhere, or move it to his hometown, etc., as some of them own teams as a gigantic status symbol rather than a revenue stream. What I don’t get is why the NBA league office seems to support these small markets in keeping their teams. It doesn’t make financial sense.

  5. jadaruler - Apr 6, 2014 at 5:15 AM

    Farve and Braun buying the Bucks.

    • padraighansen - Apr 6, 2014 at 10:51 AM

      You mean FaVRe and Braun?

  6. pfic15 - Apr 6, 2014 at 8:05 AM

    Bucks are horrible. Profitable to the right city but geez…I cannot think of a less interesting team in the NBA over the last 20 years.

  7. fm31970 - Apr 6, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    The truth is there is not enough support for the Bucks long term, from both fans and businesses. The Milwaukee market is too small, and downtown Milwaukee, though it has definitely improved over the last decade, has little else for people to stay around and enjoy. Milwaukee has previously lost the Hawks and Braves, and the Bucks are always behind the Packers, Brewers, and UW sports teams in terms of support.

    I don’t see a new arena deal being agreed to before 2017, and whoever buys the team can probably afford to wait for three years before moving the team, so not a deal breaker. Seattle makes all the sense in the world, so I would never say never to that possibility.

  8. bkbell3 - Apr 6, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    Why should tax payers foot the bill for new stadiums for billionaires that in 10 years want up grades done and by the 20-25 year mark want yet another new stadium built for them.smh

    • adamsjohn714 - Apr 6, 2014 at 11:13 PM

      Obviously they shouldn’t. They do because they’re stupid.

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