Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Herb Kohl Announces Sale of the Bucks, $100 Million Donation to a New Arena

“This is about winning basketball games, this is about winning championships"

By Evan Rytlewski
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Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl announced today that he intends to sell the team to investors Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens for $550 million. That’s more than the $405 million Forbes estimated the team's worth at earlier this year, and a good sum more than the $18 million Kohl paid for the Bucks in 1985.

The deal is subject to NBA approval.

The involved parties announced the deal this afternoon at a press conference at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, along with news of progress on a long-debated new basketball stadium.

As part of deal, Lasry and Edens have committed to fund the new arena with an investment of “at least $100 million dollars.” Marc Marotta, chairman of the BMO Harris Bradley Center board of directors, announced that Kohl will make a “$100 million gift,” to the new arena as well, an announcement that met with a standing ovation from the press.

“In order to keep our franchise here we need to get to a 21st century sports and entertainment center in a timely manner,” Kohl said at the conference.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver commended Kohl in a written statement, calling Kohl’s $100 million donation “historic and unprecedented.” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett also spoke, offering Kohl a “heartfelt thank you” on behalf of the city, and welcoming Lasry and Edens to a community “where the hearts are warmer than the weather.”

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele celebrated the announcement, saying that this news conclusively answers the lingering question of whether Milwaukee will be able to hold on to the Bucks. “This is one of the single most positive announcements you’re going to hear,” he said, “and as a longtime Bucks fan, it is extraordinary to even be a part of it.”

The announcement closes what’s otherwise been a dreadful season for the Bucks on a positive note. The team will end the season with their worst record in franchise history.

Edens hinted that brighter days are ahead.

“This is about winning basketball games, this is about winning championships,” he said of the deal.

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