Kohl intends to keep Bucks in Milwaukee; wants new arena

CREATED Apr 11, 2012

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  • Herb Kohl. | Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MILWAUKEE- U.S. Senator Herb Kohl had a busy Wednesday: Endorsing Tom Barrett for Governor and talking to John Mercure of Wisconsin's Afternoon News about the Milwaukee Bucks.

Kohl has owned the Bucks since 1985 and still considers himself passionate about the team.  The Bucks play the Knicks Wednesday night, a game that could have playoff implications -- as the Knicks hold the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference while the Bucks are one game back of New York.

"It's the most important game of the season so far," said Senator Kohl about Wednesday night's game at the Bradley Center.  "Every game is magnified in importance."

The Bucks are facing bigger issues that just Wednesday night's game, as Senator Kohl believes the team needs a new stadium.  "It (The Bradley Center) doesn't have the revenue opportunities that the new buildings around the country do."  Kohl thinks the Bradley Center is useful, but looking into the future, he thinks the Bucks and the state of Wisconsin need a new building to host Bucks games as well as the 150-175 events each year held at the Bradley Center.

Paul Swangard, managing director at the University of Oregon's Sports Marketing Center, said the Bucks would be intriguing for any city looking for an NBA franchise because the team has an aging owner in Herb Kohl and it lacks a sizable increase in local support.

Kohl responded to rumors of moving the Bucks by saying, "I'm committed to keeping the team here...That is my position, which has not changed over the years."

John Mercure concluded the interview by asking Kohl if he would ever sell the team to someone who would consider moving the team out of Milwaukee -- Kohl responded with an emphatic "No!"