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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
Lasry 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 ESPN.com 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.
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