The Milwaukee Bucks will stay in Milwaukee after the team's sale to a pair of billionaire hedge-fund managers.
During a news conference on Wednesday, team owner Herb Kohl said keeping the team in Milwaukee was a condition of the $550 million sale.
“They understand and we’ve come to agree that 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. “I believe these two men are the right people and the right fit at the right time.”
Subject to NBA approval, the team's new owners would be Marc Larsy and Wesley Edens.
Larsy and Edens have committed to spending $100 million on a new stadium for the Bucks and Kohl will gift $100 million toward the facility. Stadium officials said the $200 million commitments create momentum for raising the additional money needed to build a new stadium.
Edens said fans deserve a winning team.
“Milwaukee fans deserve a winning team. It’s about winning games, winning championships and being part of the community,” Edens said.
Kohl bought the Bucks for $18 million in 1985.
Kohl said there was a lot of interest in the team. He said Larsy and Edens know Milwaukee and Wisconsin and know there are great fans that deserve a championship team.
He said in December that he was looking for new investors in the Bucks in hopes of building a new arena. He said then that any partners would have to be committed to keeping the team in Milwaukee.
The 79-year-old Kohl retired from the U.S. Senate in January 2013. He has said he's in good health but wants a long-term plan for the Bucks' future.