According to a report, Milwaukee Bucks co-owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens will be in New York Wednesday to review some proposals for a new arena.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Lasry talked about the plan to review proposals while speaking at a joint Milwaukee Press Club/Milwaukee Rotary function this morning.
The owners want to get a gauge on the price of a new building and some of the details about the process before approaching officials in the city.
“We can then go to the state and city and say, ‘Can we do this?’” Lasry said.
Lasry envisions a new arena seating between 16,000 and 18,000, with more seating in the lower bowl that would be a centerpiece for a larger development in downtown Milwaukee.
Lasry told the group he does have a specific location in mind for the arena, but declined to share that location with the audience.
While Lasry said there would be some need for public funding for a new arena, that is not an idea that has a lot of popular support.
The Milwaukee Business Journal reported earlier this month that 63 percent of residents in the Milwaukee metropolitan area were opposed to state funding supporting a new facility for the Bucks.
The metropolitan area was defined as the same five-county tax region that pays an additional 0.1 percent sales tax to pay for Miller Park—Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Washington and Ozaukee counties.
The new owners have pledged $100 million toward a new arena, as has former Bucks owner Herb Kohl.
The idea of state support for an arena was even less popular outside the Milwaukee metroplex.
Only 24 percent of respondents statewide supported state money being used. However, support was stronger—45 percent in the metro area and 37 percent statewide—for the use of state funds to support infrastructure projects associated with a new facility.
Last month, the Business Journal reported that Edens and Lasry want a plan for a new arena in place by next May 15, the one-year anniversary of the date the sale of the Bucks was officially approved by the NBA Board of Governors.
ESPN.com reported in April, when the sale of the club was first announced, that the NBA included a buyback clause in the sale.
That clause would allow the NBA to purchase the team back from Edens and Lasry if a new arena is not ready to go by November 2017. Call that the “Seattle clause,” as there was a lot of buzz before and immediately after the sale about the possibility of the franchise being moved to the Pacific Northwest.
Seattle has been without an NBA team since 2008, when the SuperSonics were moved to Oklahoma City.