Milwaukee Bucks announce new local investors, provide update on new arena

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Almost immediately after Herb Kohl sold the team to Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens back in April, it was reported that some local investors were looking to join the group in a minority role. Three months later, those individuals were introduced. Here is the release from the Bucks:

Wes Edens and Marc Lasry today announced that the NBA Board of Governors has formally approved a group of individuals to join the ownership group of the Milwaukee Bucks. The new participants in the ownership group include familiar faces from the greater Milwaukee business community such as Ted Kellner of Fiduciary Management, Jim Kacmarcik of Kapco, Craig Karmazin of Good Karma Brands, Michael Kocourek of Mid Oaks Investments, Keith Mardak of Hal Leonard Corporation, Teddy Werner of the Milwaukee Brewers as well as several other prominent business leaders with close ties to the Milwaukee area.

"We are so excited about creating a new era of Milwaukee Bucks basketball," said Bucks owner Marc Lasry. "In just a matter of weeks, we have had an incredible draft, brought on a world-class coach, and have now assembled a visionary group of owners from the community."

Bucks owner Wes Edens said, "From day one, Marc and I felt a huge part of the rebuilding process would be dependent on having important leaders from Milwaukee join the ownership of the organization. We believe the future of the Milwaukee Bucks is not only about winning basketball, but also about contributing to Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin."

The list isn't finished, either. Several unnamed partners are involved in this investment, and more could be added later. Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel also reports that former Bucks player Junior Bridgeman was considering being part of the group. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was not listed, but has had several talks with Lasry and Edens. At this time, though Edens said "they are not in a place to announce he's an investor." He did go on to say that they would still love him to get on board in "whatever capacity" though.

With several local magnates now in the fold, the attention will start to shift back towards the funding and development of a new arena. Edens presented an update to the NBA's Board of Governors this week in Las Vegas.

Edens said he and Lasry have met with some stadium experts and architects and tried to learn some ideas from the arena planning for the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings. Both franchises are building new downtown arenas, with the Warriors planning a move from Oakland to San Francisco.

Edens said he has looked at different sites in Milwaukee but his preference is a downtown location.

"Milwaukee is blessed to have a handful of different alternatives," Edens said. "We toured the lakefront. My preference is to be in the middle of downtown.

"The lakefront is spectacular in July. I'm not sure how spectacular it will be in February."

Edens said it's a step-by-step process in getting the arena plans underway.

"Our No. 1 goal is site selection. That's front and center," he said. "Once we get the site nailed down, then we can see what the available space will be and can focus on the design."

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