NBA Bucks are reportedly close to announcing new arena plan

The Milwaukee Bucks ownership is close to announcing a location for the franchise’s new arena and a financing plan for it, according to the Journal Times. Milwaukee’s new arena will cost around $420 million, with over $300 million in private investments.

Milwaukee’s proposed arena location is the site of UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena (the Bucks’ home prior to the BMO Bradley Center) and Milwaukee Theater. The Bucks are planning on building a 18,000+ seat arena, with practice facilities attached to the building; the franchise currently practices in St. Francis, several miles away from the arena. It would also include more restaurants, suites, and shops in the arena.

This new arena is allegedly going to cost $420 million, with more than $300 million guaranteed from the ownership group and the franchise’s former owner. The $300 million includes $100 million from former Bucks’ owner Herbert Kohl, over $100 million from Wes Edens and Marc Lasry, and another $100 million from new majority owner Jamie Dinan.

The new arena is expected to cost in the vicinity of $420 million. At a press conference in April, when Wes Edens and Marc Lasry were introduced as the new Bucks owners after acquiring the franchise from Herb Kohl for a reported $550 million, it was also announced Edens and Lasry would contribute $100 million toward the construction as would Kohl.

Sources now claim Edens and Lasry have actually contributed more than that amount and Jamie Dinan, who became a majority owner in July, has also made a major financial contribution as well.

While Edens, Lasry, Dinan and Kohl have now contributed an estimated $300 million toward the new arena project — or nearly three-fourths of the projected cost — nearly a dozen minority owners have also contributed financially.”

If the Journal Times report is accurate, then the team’s ownership group’s financial commitment has made public officials comfortable enough to commit public financials (more than likely bonds) to the project. The arena would help keep the team in Milwaukee for a several more decades, and would continue to provide the city with a minor economic engine.

As of now, the Journal Times is the only source reporting this near announcement. Hopefully this report is true and the arena deal is soon to be announced, because it will keep the franchise home and settle down the NBA’s latest arena situation.

[twitter-follow screen_name=’sportswithneil’] [twitter-follow screen_name=’nvr93′]