Bucks owner Herb Kohl seeks additional owners

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Bucks owner Herb Kohl announced he is looking for additional owners to the franchise in order to assure it remains in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl said in a statement released Monday that he is looking to add more ownership to his franchise in order to keep the NBA team in Milwaukee, Wis.

"Over the next several months, I will be considering broadening the ownership of the Bucks as a way to strengthen the franchise and keep it in Milwaukee," Kohl said in his statement. "In the event new investor partners are added, they will need to be as committed to keeping the team in Milwaukee as I am."

The small-market team has come to grips with the situation, which is quite simple. The league doesn't approve of the Bucks' current home, the Bradley Center. Kohl told The Business Journal that he was confident in the Bucks' future. It isn't a matter of if the team would move, but how it would be paid for.

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Adding local owners is a first step toward the solution.

Incoming NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in September that ownership will have to discuss changes for the Bucks, according to The Business Journal.

"At the end of the day compared to other modern arenas in the league, this arena is a few hundred thousand square feet too small," Silver said. "It doesn't have the sort of back-of-house space you need, doesn't have the kinds of amenities we need."

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Simply put, the Bucks have to move.

Milwaukee is signed with the Bradley Center through September of 2017, which was hard enough to earn approval from the other NBA owners, Kohl told The Business Journal. Current commissioner David Stern, who will step aside in February 2014, said in November that a progress report on securing plans for a new arena was "upbeat," but there's still pressure on the Bucks. Despite his success as an owner, Kohl will need funding and new ownership will help greatly, especially in a smaller market.

One potential investor is current Bucks forward Caron Butler, who grew up in Racine, Wis., and said he'd have interest in becoming a part owner, The Business Journal reported earlier in December.

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