Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Page 2 of 21 FirstFirst 123412 ... LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 314
  1. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Sarah Watterson, who handles investor relations for Fortress Investment Group LLC, headed by Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Wesley Edens, is now a member of the Cultural and Entertainment Capital Needs Task Force.

    Watterson, who initially handled media inquiries after Edens and Marc Lasry bought the Milwaukee Bucks, will replace Ron Walter, who is the Bucks' executive vice president for business administration.

    It seems obvious that Watterson will be in the position of articulating what Edens and Lasry have in mind regarding a new multipurpose arena and will act as their eyes and ears in the larger public discussion over the region's capital needs.

    Walter said the new owners wanted to have a representative on the task force.

    As for Walter's future with the team, he said he was focused on the ownership transition. He said he was open to "all possibilities" as far as working with Lasry and Edens.

    The task force meets Wednesday morning beginning at 8 a.m. at the Milwaukee Art Museum. The meeting is open to the public.

    The invite list for Wednesday's meeting includes not only the 48 members of the task force, but several dozen businesspeople, elected officials and young professionals. The idea for the meeting is to brainstorm ideas on how best to meet the capital needs of the region's major cultural and entertainment institutions.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Oak Creek
    Marc Lasry, co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, said Friday that he and partner Wesley Edens hope to break ground on a new arena sometime next summer.

    Lasry, appearing on WSSP-AM (1250), said, "We'd like to have a shovel in the ground sometime between June and September of next year."

    Lasry also talked about bringing on local investors in the team, but added that some of that investment could be directed toward construction of a new arena. He said he hoped to identify the local investors in time for the NBA draft June 26.

    He said it was important to the NBA that a buyback provision be inserted in the sale of the Bucks. The two bought the team from former Sen. Herb Kohl for $550 million, some of which was assumed debt. He said the buyback provision gives the league the right to buy back the team in case a new arena isn't built in Milwaukee.

    Lasry also was asked about the reported sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Mircosoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. He confirmed a report by Brian Windhorst of that Ballmer was involved in bidding on the Bucks with the notion of moving the team to Seattle.

    "We had no interest in moving the team. We wanted to come to the games; we wanted to be part of the community. Steve Ballmer was involved and my understanding was he bid more than we did. But he was interested in moving the team," Lasry said.

    Windhorst said Ballmer and partner Chris Hansen offered Kohl in excess of $650 million to buy the Bucks and move them to Seattle.

    Kohl turned down the offer, true to his word that he would keep the team in Milwaukee no matter the price.

    Windhorst said there were nine bids for the Bucks. Sources had told the Journal Sentinel there were multiple bids.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman is seriously contemplating returning to the Milwaukee Bucks.

    Bridgeman, who enjoyed a 10-year playing career for the Bucks from the mid 1970s until the mid ’80s, could be returning to the organization as an owner.

    Bridgeman, in a telephone interview Friday from his home in Louisville, Ky., said he recently met with new Bucks co-owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens about joining their ownership group.

    “They offered me an invitation to meet with them so I took them up on it,” Bridgeman said. “We met at their offices in New York and had a good conversation.

    “I was impressed with their love for the game of basketball. They really understood the history of Milwaukee and what has gone on there and they’re appreciative of the opportunity given to them.

    “They seem to be good guys. They seem committed to winning and bringing back the winning ways to Milwaukee. They know there’s a lot of work to be done, but they’re pretty excited about it.”

    Bridgeman, who had his No. 2 jersey retired by the Bucks in 1988, is currently the president of Bridgeman Foods LLC. His company 375 Wendy’s and Chilli’s restaurants around the country, including more than 80 in Wisconsin.

    Bridgeman, 60, was the eighth overall pick in the 1975 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. He was then traded to Milwaukee as part of a blockbuster deal involving Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

    Bridgeman played 10 seasons for the Bucks and, in eight of those seasons, he was a double-digit scorer. He is the Bucks’ seventh all-time leader in scoring with 9,892 points.

    Bridgeman also has the distinction of having played in the most games for the Bucks: 711. His former teammate and friend, Sidney Moncrief, is second with 695.

    The 6-foot-5 Bridgeman was more than scorer, though. He is tied with Terry Cummings for ninth place in Bucks’ history for most steals with 607 and ranks 10th all-time in defensive rebounds (826) and offensive rebounds (826).

    Bridgeman, who graduated from the University of Louisville with a degree in psychology, was highly respected by his peers, He served on the National Basketball Players Association board for 11 years and became president of the NBPA in 1985, serving in that capacity for four years.

    Lasry and Edens, billionaire investment executives from New York, have made it abundantly clear that they would like to add several partners with strong ties to Milwaukee and Wisconsin.

    Bridgeman obviously fits the bill.

    “I hope to sit down with again in the next week or so and talk about it,” said Bridgeman, referring to Lasry and Edens. “I’m definitely looking into it. In the next couple of weeks, we should know.”

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Gery Woelfel @GeryWoelfel · May 29

    Lasry on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar joining Bucks ownership group: "I think he wants to get involved."

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    The new owners of the Milwaukee Bucks say they want to add locals to their ownership group.

    During a media tour, Wes Edens and Marc Lasry told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel they have met with people who could possibly become co-owners, as many as five to ten of them.

    "I think they are going through the process right now with the NBA, getting approved," Lasry told the newspaper. "We want a number of local businessmen and folks who are very important to the community and be a part of what we are trying to do."

    According to the Racine Journal Times' Gery Woelfel, one of those investors could be a legendary Milwaukee Bucks center.
    Gery Woelfel @GeryWoelfel
    Lasry on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar joining Bucks ownership group: "I think he wants to get involved."
    Milwaukee Bucks ✔ @Bucks
    Marc: I’ve spoken to Kareem and we are going to be having some discussions on his involvement.
    They also announced Thursday that the Bucks would be playing a game in London.

    Lasry and Edens will join 620WTMJ's "Sports Central" at 6:50 p.m., then join fans at McGillicuddy's on Water Street for a game-watching party.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    According to Don Walker of the Journal Sentinel, Bucks owners Wes Edens and Mark Lasry are still searching for new investors in the franchise, and also provided a price to make an investment:
    Don Walker @DonWalkerJS
    #Bucks say they are getting strong interest from numerous local investors. An update:
    Walker notes a source telling him the minimum investment to become part of the ownership group would be $5 million. He notes how a more local presence in the group would be beneficial for Edens and Lasry, as it will help secure funding for a new downtown arena.

    Among those rumored to be interested in joining the investment group are former Bucks star Junior Bridgeman, Ted Kellner, Jon Hammes, Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold, Brewers owner Mark Attanasio and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Quote Originally Posted by MILLERHIGHLIFE View Post
    Anyone else think they should paint the floor of the new arena like the Mecca? I think it would be way cool.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Hal Leonard Corp. chairman and CEO Keith Mardak has held Milwaukee Bucks season tickets since the team’s first season in 1968-1969 and he jumped at the opportunity when he heard the team’s new owners were seeking additional investors with Wisconsin ties.

    But Mardak, a Milwaukee native who has built his company into the world’s largest music print publisher, wasn’t sure how to reach Marc Lasry and Wes Edens or their representatives.

    “I have a good friend in New York who runs a major publishing company,” Mardak told me. “He has four seats to (New York) Knicks games. Next to him is Wes (Edens).”

    Mardak asked his friend — Marty Bandier, the chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing — to have Edens contact the Milwaukee business executive.

    “I met Wes and his people,” Mardak told me. “I decided to make the investment.”

    Mardak, 74, is one of six minority investors with southeast Wisconsin ties who the Bucks publicly identified July 16. The Bucks said there are other investors who did not want to go public.

    I interviewed Mardak and several other Bucks investors for a story in Friday’s Milwaukee Business Journal print edition on why they bought a piece of the team and what role they will play in the Bucks' new ownership group. Each new investor took his own route to connecting with Lasry and Edens.

    Mardak told me he has been impressed with Edens and Lasry committing to rebuilding a winning team in Milwaukee and shepherding a new-arena project.

    Mardak said he could not disclose the amount he paid for his investment, but he is excited about evolving from a longtime fan to part owner.

    “I’m an ardent fan,” Mardak told me. “I love NBA basketball and I love the Bucks. So it’s a dream to become part owner. It’s terrific.”

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Buying a stake in the Milwaukee Bucks — unlike buying Green Bay Packers' stock — actually could net minority investors financial returns, but the Bucks' new Milwaukee-area shareholders say that was not their main motivation.

    I interviewed five of the six investors who the Bucks have identified so far and they all plan to hold their shares for the long term. Their passion for the Bucks and a new arena became evident as I prepared my story in Friday's Milwaukee Business Journal print edition.

    The minority investors said the love of the NBA and helping in a small way to keep the Bucks in Milwaukee is why they bought Bucks stock.

    “Basically it comes down to me loving sports and Milwaukee,” said Mike Kocourek of Lake Geneva, who grew up in Cudahy. “Investing in the Bucks combines both of those things.”

    Kocourek is the president of Mid Oaks Investments LLC, a Buffalo Grove, Ill., private equity investment firm, and owns a portfolio of commercial real estate that he manages from Lake Geneva.

    Investing in NBA teams became more attractive this year after the surprisingly high $550 million Wes Edens and Marc Lasry paid to buy the Bucks from Herb Kohl and the pending $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers.

    Lasry and Edens could have invited minority investors from a nationwide market and raised more money than they did from the Milwaukee investors, said Bucks minority investor Craig Karmazin. He is impressed that Lasry and Edens were committed to connecting with Bucks' hometown investors.

    “They were really clear they wanted Milwaukee voices and wanted to help fill out their knowledge set and skill set,” said Karmazin, of Fox Point, majority owner of Good Karma Brands.
    One of Good Karma’s holdings is Milwaukee’s ESPN radio station WAUK-AM (540), but Karmazin said his investment in the Bucks has nothing to do with attaining the Bucks game broadcasts that now run on WTMJ-AM (620).

    “There has not been any consideration with us surrounding the idea of us (Good Karma) moving the Bucks to our Milwaukee assets,” Karmazin told me.

    Good Karma has evolved into a sports marketing company, so Karmazin said he would be happy to share his expertise to the Bucks to better promote their brand.

    “I’ll be able to help the Bucks find the right destination for their content,” he said.

    If the Bucks end up using one of Karmazin’s broadcast or digital properties, “then that’s great,” he said.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Reminder: for a complete summary of everything related to the new Bucks arena debate, check out our updated FAQ here.

    JSOnline: A new arena on the lakefront? Unlikely
    We're not yet at the point of knowing where a new arena will go, but it does seem like we are starting to have an idea of where it won't go. Don Walker reports:

    But in interviews with key players in the arena debate, some of whom are unwilling to talk on the record, the consensus is a lakefront location is not in play.
    "It's not going to happen," said one source who is involved in the discussions with new Milwaukee Bucks owners Wes Edens and Marc Lasry. "It's off the table."

    Edens himself feels the same way. He told the Journal Sentinel that he has looked at different sites and prefers a downtown location.

    "Milwaukee is blessed to have a handful of different alternatives," Edens said. "We toured the lakefront. My preference is to be in the middle of downtown."

    So while the idea of finding a cold-weather anchor of activity near the Summerfest grounds had some theoretical appeals, Walker suggests that a larger entertainment district close to the existing Bradley Center remains the preferred destination. No arguments here.

    Milwaukee Business Journal: Latest arena-site speculation: Journal Communications + Panther Arena
    Speaking of the area around the BC, Rich Kirchen suggests that there may be an additional option downtown option beyond the vacant Park East corridor or the parking lot north of the Bucks' current home: the Journal-Sentinel headquarters and the old Mecca Arena (now Panther Arena) across 4th Street.

    The location would achieve the goal of some leading city planners and city leaders for the new arena to be built as close as possible to Wisconsin Avenue two blocks to the north. Journal Communications occupies only a fraction of floorspace in its buildings after relocating its printing presses and trucking operation and downsizing its employment in recent years.
    "The Journal Sentinel is totally underutilized space," said one Milwaukee commercial real estate insider. "They’ve got prime real estate and it’s a waste of space for them to be there."

    Shots fired!

    Note to the JS: the MBJ is located across the river about five blocks east of the JS building. YOUR MOVE.

    Biz Times: What have other cities done?
    Officials from Oklahoma City, Cleveland, and Denver shared their experiences funding cultural assets with Milwaukee business leaders last week, and Andrew Weiland of has a good summary of their experiences above. As mentioned in our FAQ, those cities along with Pittsburgh and St. Louis were discussed in the Public Policy Forum's March 2014 report on funding options for a new arena.

    Meanwhile, our buddy Paul Henning of Save Our Bucks also stopped by WTMJ to talk about it with Doug Russell (audio below).

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Stakeholders involved in the discussion of whether to build a new arena are in general agreement the building should be downtown.

    Marc Lasry and Wes Edens, the new owners of the Milwaukee Bucks, say they want the new arena to be downtown. Mayor Tom Barrett agrees, saying he wants it as close to W. Wisconsin Ave., as possible. And Rocky Marcoux, commissioner of the Department of City Development, has said an ideal location would be along W. Kilbourn Ave., in the vicinity of the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena and the Wisconsin Center.

    Or should the headquarters of Journal Communicaitons, located across the street from the UWM Arena, be considered?

    In a highly speculative post, the Milwaukee Business Journal raised the possibility the Journal Communications land, bordered by W. State St., N. 4th St., W. Kilbourn Ave., and N. Old World Third St., could be combined wiht the UWM Arena for a new arena.

    Steven J. Smith Journal Communications chairman and CEO, said Monday that, "We have not been part of the process."

    He added: "The Journal building was built in 1924 and we're kind of attached to it. And hundreds of employees work here every day."

    There is little question the Journal Communications headquarters is well situated. It's near both the UWM Arena and the BMO Harris Bradley Center, as well as the convention center. It is also blocks from key government buildings, including the Milwaukee County Courthouse and City Hall.

    The Journal Communications complex also includes the old Milwaukee Sentinel building, which is vacant, and parking. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is no longer printed on site; newspapers are printed at the firm's printing plant in West Milwaukee.

    Asked about the future of the Sentinel building, Smith said any potential developer would likely need the whole block. "If somebody wanted to do development and targeted us I would think it would be the whole block. We're using it," he said.

    "You don't want to be unrealistic about this, but we have not planned another place to go," Smith said. "I do recall a number of years ago a developer saying you are at the epicenter. 'This is a good spot for your company to be.' So we would have to think long and hard before getting into discussions about giving that up."

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Oak Creek
    The new owners of the Milwaukee Bucks hope to identify a site for a new multipurpose arena in the next three or four months, according to Ald. Bob Bauman.

    Bauman and Common Council President Michael Murphy met Friday at City Hall with Wes Edens, who along with New York investor Marc Lasry bought the Bucks from former Sen. Herb Kohl.

    Edens also had a separate private meeting with Mayor Tom Barrett. Earlier Friday, Edens also met with County Executive Chris Abele.

    "They have a very tight timetable," Bauman said. "They want to have a site identified in three or four months. Then they want to do the engineering and design. Then they will focus on the financials."

    In a brief interview at City Hall, Edens said the meetings were about "educating me about the city and the different constituencies and what people are thinking about development and the pluses and minuses of different places."

    Edens said the meetings were the first prolonged sessions he has had with elected leaders about the arena process.

    "I'm spending the morning meeting different people in the public eye," Edens said.

    After meeting with Edens, Barrett said the New York billionaire "is learning the territory very quickly."

    "The most pressing issue is to find a site that is compatible," Barrett said. "I want it as close to Wisconsin Ave. as possible. There is opportunity there."

    Barrett has said in recent days that the downtown area east of the Milwaukee River has become a hot spot for development and housing. He hopes to accomplish the same thing west of the river and has hopes a new arena and ancillary development will provide that spark.

    The National Basketball Association wants the Bucks to have a new arena by 2017. That is the same year the Bucks' lease with the BMO Harris Bradley Center expires.

    Barrett said he told Edens that the city's Department of City Development would assist the Bucks owners in locating the best site for the arena.

    Lasry and Edens have committed $100 million toward construction of a new arena. Kohl pledged an additional $100 million. Since that time, six local investors have purchased shares in the franchise; those shares are investments not just in the franchise but also in the upcoming arena development, a source with knowledge of the deal said. It is anticipated that additional investors will be involved.

    Murphy and Bauman said they were impressed with Edens.

    "He's excited about the city," Murphy said. "He's very much an urban enthusiast. And he thinks he can put a deal together."

    Murphy said Edens told him the financing package needed to built an arena — estimated between $400 million and $500 million — would require some form of public support. With that in mind, Murphy said, he told Edens that the city could not bear the burden of providing some kind of tax support alone.

    "The burden can't be on the city," Murphy said.

    County boards in Ozaukee, Racine and Waukesha have already staked out stands, expressing opposition to providing any form of public tax support toward a new arena or expansion of the Wisconsin Center convention center.

    Bauman said he was impressed with Edens. "He is a city person who appreciates and values dense urban living," Bauman said.

    Accompanying Edens was Robert J. Cook, who was named this week as the franchise's vice president of business affairs.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Don Walker ‏@DonWalkerJS · Aug 1
    .#Bucks owners want a new arena site in 3-4 months. Co-owner Wes Edens made the rounds today in #Milwaukee

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Journal-Sentinel: Bucks target new arena site decision in within 3-4 months
    Don Walker reports that Bucks co-owner Wes Edens and new VP of Business Affairs Bob Cook met with city officials on Thursday, continuing efforts to sort through the not-so-minor issue of where to put a potential new Bucks arena. Alderman Bob Bauman participated in some of the discussions and offered some useful insight into the teams' thinking about the project:

    "They have a very tight timetable," Bauman said.

    "They want to have a site identified in three or four months. Then they want to do the engineering and design. Then they will focus on the financials."

    In a brief interview at City Hall, Edens said the meetings were about "educating me about the city and the different constituencies and what people are thinking about development and the pluses and minuses of different places."

    Walker also quotes Mayor Tom Barrett as reaffirming that he would prefer a site "as close as possible to Wisconsin Avenue," which dovetails with previous reports that team and city officials were focusing on downtown options near the current BMO Harris Bradley Center. To get your bearings: the Wisconsin Center convention center is three blocks south of the BC at the corner of 4th Street and Wisconsin Ave., while the UWM Panther Arena (previously the Mecca) and the Journal Communications Building are each a block south of the BC and two blocks north of Wisconsin Ave. While much of the site discussion to date has focused on the vacant Park East corridor a few blocks north of the BC or some of the parking lots around the arena, the Milwaukee Business Journal threw out the possibility of the Journal building and Panther Arena as additional options given their closer proximity to Wisconsin Ave. The Journal responded by terming the idea speculative, but that should be expected even if last week's Scripps-Journal Communications merger is likely to bring its own raft of changes. Pro tip: If someone wants your land, you don't tell them how much you'd love to sell it.

    Barrett's preference for a location closer to the Wisconsin Center/Wisconsin Avenue could certainly be interpreted as a means of keeping open the possibility of a compromise solution with the Wisconsin Center District as well. Remember that WCD Chairman Frank Gimbel has proposed pairing the development and funding of a new arena with a $200 million WCD expansion, though at this point I'm not sure if that idea actually helps or hurts the task of moving forward with an arena. The WCD released a study in May arguing an expansion was necessary for Milwaukee to remain competitive as a convention town, though Gimbel and company will also want more public money to do it. Note that the WCD already has dibs on all the taxes collected inside the Wisconsin Center Tax District, which according to the WCD's last annual report accounted for $28 million in 2013. Tourist taxes--which target out-of-towners with things like hotel and rental car taxes--are usually one of the first targets for new arena fundraising since it's not the locals bearing the cost. But unfortunately the WCD also has $225 million in long-term debt and has previously cried poor about sparing any of those tax dollars for a new arena.

    Milwaukee Business Journal: Arena tax referendum likely dead, as board minority vote prevails
    On the topic of arena financing, there was some good news for arena proponents last week: Milwaukee County residents will be voting on plenty of things in November, but a non-binding arena tax referendum likely won't be one of them. Supervisor John Weishan was among those attempting to put a referendum on the ballot to oppose new taxes for a potential Bradley Center replacement, but Chris Ryan of the MBJ reports that a minority vote to send the proposal to the County Board is likely too late to get on the November ballot. The proposal would have to be heard by August 26 for that to happen, but a) the board is off for the entire month of August and b) County Executive Chris Abele was unlikely to sign it if even if it did gain approval through a special session of the board.

    And in case you're wondering how to feel about this, the short answer is it's a good thing if you support public funding of an arena. While an arena financing plan will eventually need to gain broader public support, arena proponents understandably want to delay a referendum until there's an actual proposal on the table--you know, that thing which is at least a few months away from beginning to take shape. Asking voters whether they want to fund a project without any specifics--location, size, cost, etc.--is decidedly not the best route to winning anyone over, which is why Edens, Lasry and local business leaders have made figuring all that out a major priority. One step at a time...

    MBJ: Bucks raise $84.5 million from minority investors
    How much money did the Bucks' recently-announced minority investors contribute to the team? Rich Kirchen and the MBJ did some snooping and found what appears to be the answer in recent regulatory filings:

    They filed information with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on conducting a private stock sale July 17, which was one day after the Bucks announced the minority-investor news.

    A spokesman for Lasry and Edens had no comment other than to say Wednesday that "Fear The Deer LLC is the holding entity for the capital raised outside of the principal investors."

    The Bucks' $550 million valuation technically broke down to $425 million for the team and $125 million to retire its debts under the NBA's revolving credit facility, so Kirchen notes that the $84.5 million works out to around 20% of the equity valuation paid by Lasry and Edens. However, whether the new investors actually have 20% of the team also depends on the valuation they subsequently agreed to with Lasry and Edens. Maybe it's the same, maybe it's more, maybe it's less. Either way, it's a good chunk of change that suggests the locals have real skin in the game and aren't just token investors brought on for their Wisconsin ties.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Atlanta, Ga
    I think the biggest obstacle here is coming up with a multi purpose arena that is exciting and modern, built to be "future proof" to whatever extent, and everything else you wanna talk about but is actually sustainable by the Milwaukee market. Do all that, and maybe you get the support it takes. Its all a challenge.

Page 2 of 21 FirstFirst 123412 ... LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts