Could the Bucks really leave Milwaukee? There have been speculations that the Bucks will be targeted by the Seattle ownership group who recently failed on buying the Sacramento Kings. Even though Bucks' owner Herb Kohl said the Bucks are not for sale, the Bucks and the NBA have said that the team will need to leave Milwaukee after the 2016-2017 season unless a new arena is built.
There has been no official talk of a new arena being built in Milwaukee and the clock is ticking. Milwaukee needs to keep the Bucks in Milwaukee, where they have been a fixture since 1968, but the only way to do so is to build a new arena.
The Milwaukee Bucks currently play in an old and below average arena. When the Bradley Center opened in 1988 it was meant to hold a hockey team not a NBA franchise. With an arena that is built for a NBA franchise, it would make the Bucks a more competitive team. Players would have a desire to come play in Milwaukee, and fans would be more interested in supporting a competitive team in a top of the line arena.
Herb Kohl has said that he would be willing to make a financial commitment to a new arena. Though an amount was not given, he did say it would be significant. This will help but in order to obtain a new arena, the people of Milwaukee and surrounding counties will need to publicly fund money as well. This will not be a popular decision, but it will be a smart decision in order to keep Milwaukee a revenue-earning city, with a big city feel.
Without the Bucks in Milwaukee, the city will suffer financially. People will loose jobs, hotels and parking lots will be in less demand, and surrounding restaurants and bars will receive less business without a major sports team in the downtown area. This decision is just not about basketball, but about the city as a whole.
Milwaukee has already lost one team due to financial reasons and we cannot afford to loose another. It is time for people to get on board with a new arena otherwise Milwaukee is not just loosing its basketball team, but its big city feel and revenue for the entire city.