Former Wisconsin senator Herb Kohl says he's hired a New York business advisor to help him sell part, or all, of his interest in the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team.
Kohl says he'll insist that the franchise stays in Milwaukee.
Kohl has owned the Bucks since 1985. He retired from the U.S. Senate earlier this year, and says he's in good health, but he says it's time to start looking at potentially adding some new owners to the Bucks, or maybe completely selling the team. He says starting the process now is the best thing for the Bucks five or ten years down the road.
“I like to believe that bringing in new ownership…if it’s done in the right way will reinvigorate the franchise, and make our future in Milwaukee stronger and more secure,” he says.
Kohl says the Bucks are now making money, and the value of NBA franchises continues to grow. He hopes those factors will attract investors, though he says no offer is on the table. Kohl says his key bottom line is that the Bucks not be moved to another city.
“This is Milwaukee’s franchise,” says Kohl. “It has real value in Milwaukee. That’s why there will be people who will be interested in owning this property in Milwaukee.”
It's possible the price tag to buy full ownership of the Bucks could top $500 million. Kohl says he expects any new owners to make a financial contribution to a possible new arena in Milwaukee, and Kohl says even if he doesn't own the Bucks, he'll kick in a substantial amount of money for a new downtown facility. He says suburban Milwaukee opposition to taxpayer support for a new arena is a hill to be navigated.