The Milwaukee Bucks are just fun this season — young, athletic, they get out and run and with Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo there are must watch guys. This is how you sell hope to a fan base — the Bucks are 8-7 this young season (that’s better than the Cavaliers) and you see the potential for growth. Like the top of the league potential.
It would be devastating to see another long-time strong NBA market lose its team just as that team is ascending like this.
The NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver have pulled no punches — the Bucks need a new arena. The BMO Harris Bradley Center no longer meets NBA standards. The problem is while there is some money in the pot for a new arena — new owners Wes Edens and Marc Lasry have promised $100 million toward the building, as did former owner Herb Kohl, and there are other, smaller investors — that’s about half of what a new arena will cost. It’s going to take some form of public assistance, and that is going to be a hard sell.
Silver was in Milwaukee making that pitch to community leaders and working on the steps, he told the Associated Press.
“We accomplished a lot today,” Silver said. “There’s a tremendous amount of positive energy in the community. There are always bumps in the road, but there’s no doubt here that the people, the fans, the elected officials, they all recognize the value this team brings to the community.”
The new owners hope to have a site announced for the new building by the end of the year, or certainly not far into the new year. That’s a first step and a very good sign. But there is still a lot of steps left to climb the mountain.
Silver, more than his predecessor, does not like to see teams moved (he pushed for the Sacramento group to get their chance to keep the Kings). He has said he wants the Bucks to stay.
That said, this is a business. If construction of a new arena is not underway by the end of 2017, the league can buy back the Bucks from the Edens and Lasry. Then things would really be up in the air for the franchise.