Milwaukee Bucks move threats have been ramped up. A threat to move the Bucks to Las Vegas or Seattle was made by team president Peter Feigin on Monday (July 6) as the team hoped to apply pressure to local legislators. A report from the Milwaukee Business Journal suggests that ownership might be willing to do anything to convince the city it needs public funding for a new arena. The includes Feigin saying that the NBA could take back the franchise and then move it to one of two cities that have been clamoring for a team. It also opens the door for a return of the Seattle Supersonics.
Now it’s clear that a Milwaukee Bucks move isn’t quite as close as Peter Feigin wants to make people think, especially since any move has to be approved by the rest of the NBA owners. Put simply, they are using a scare tactic to make people in the Milwaukee government do something in the short-term, rather than putting off any arena deals. What Feigin and the new ownership group want is for the Wisconsin lawmakers to approve $250 million in public funding to build the new arena in downtown Milwaukee. Or else. Feigin spoke at length while sharing his thoughts on the project.
“The window is closing. We can’t wait months, even weeks to start the public process. The NBA does not want the Bucks to extend the lease in an inadequate facility. This is about building a winner and building a brand and a product. It is similar to what the (Milwaukee) Brewers and (Green Bay) Packers have done.”
Back in April, a poll was done by Marquette Law School to find out how many Wisconsin voters were willing to support the state funding involved in this arena deal. The results stated that 79 percent of registered voters opposed the plan being discussed by the legislative leaders. It also found that only 17 percent of voters were in support of the public paying such a hefty amount for the arena. It certainly shows that a Milwaukee Bucks move could become a reality at some point.
Wes Edens, Marc Lasry, and Jimie Dinan are the new owners of the Bucks and had agreed to work with former owner Herb Kohl to keep the team in Milwaukee. The new ownership group had pledged $250 million for the construction of a new arena, and started to share plans of approaching the state for matching funds. Team president Pete Feigin has been the mouthpiece for the group, speaking with the press and legislators about what needs to happen in Wisconsin.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the NBA recently rejected a bid to move the Sacramento Kings to Seattle. A similar struggle for a new arena had been taking place in Sacramento and a Seattle group wanted to buy the team and move them. It could have spelled the re-birth of the Seattle Supersonics, but the NBA owners stepped in and stopped it from happening. Now that a Milwaukee Bucks move has been threatened by that ownership group, NBA fans in Las Vegas and Seattle are about to get excited again. The problem, though, is that this could just be a negotiating ploy by the Bucks with nothing really behind it.
[Image Source: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]