The Milwaukee Bucks will be given a new lease of life after the NBA’s Board of Governers unanimously voted for the sale of the franchise to go ahead. Bucks owner and former Senator of Wisconsin, Herb Kohl (pictured), struck a deal with New York investment firm executives Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry thought to be worth in the region of $550 million.
An important part in the NBA’s decision to grant the sale was the fact the franchise would be kept in Milwaukee and that a new arena would be built. The Bucks’ current BMO Harris Bradley Center has been the franchises home since 1988, but Edens and Lasry have pledged $100 million towards a new home. Kohl too has donated $100 million, but with a new arena estimated at $400 million the rest of the funds will be sought through further private and public backing. If a new arena has not been planned by 2017, there is an option in the sale clause that allows the NBA to buy back the franchise, a stipulation included to ensure the franchise stays in the city.
Senator Kohl was a folk hero in Milwaukee after buying the Bucks in 1985 for $18 million, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver praised Kohl’s stewardship of the organization.
“I would like to thank Senator Kohl again for his unprecedented and historic financial gift toward the construction of a new Milwaukee arena and for his outstanding service to the league and his community over his nearly 30-year tenure.”
Under new ownership there is hope that a new era of growth will be ushered in for the Bucks after the franchise finished with the worst record in the NBA this season. With just 15 wins all campaign, this is a crucial time for the team as the Bucks are in pole position to claim first pick in the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft Lottery.