Peter Feigin, the Milwaukee Bucks’ president, made a not-so-vague threat Monday while speaking to Wisconsin lawmakers: according to the exec, the NBA will not hesitate to relocate the franchise to either Seattle or Las Vegas if $250 million in public funds isn’t quickly approved for a new gym.
The Bucks recently unveiled plans for a proposed new arena in the downtown area, but they still haven’t figured out how to pay for it.
Hedge fund billionaires Wes Edens, Marc Lasry and Jamie Dinan purchased the team for a cool $550 million in May 2014.
Per the Milwaukee Business Journal (via CBS Sports):
At an informational hearing held by the state Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, Feigin said the Bucks owners’ purchase agreement for the team includes a provision that construction of a new arena start in 2015. If that does not occur, he said the NBA will buy back the team for a $25 million profit and move them to “Las Vegas or Seattle.”
“The window is closing,” Feigin said. “We can’t wait months, even weeks to start the public process.” […] The Joint Finance Committee hearing was continuing Monday afternoon with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele set to testify. The state Senate could take up the bill as early as Tuesday. It was dropped from the proposed state budget last week.
Feigin said the team needed to start construction by October or November to avoid the NBA starting a process of seeking buyers for the team. The team’s lease at the BMO Harris Bradley Center expires in 2017, he said. […] “The NBA does not want the Bucks to extend the lease in an inadequate facility,” he said.