Lasry: Arena financing needs to be partnership

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:15 pm

Marc Lasry, co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, said the City of Milwaukee will be key to financing a new arena downtown.

But Lasry, who was interviewed at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit in New York last week, hedged on whether he and co-owner Wes Edens would be willing to contribute more than the $100 million they have pledged for the new arena.

“I think we’re going to see how we’re going to develop that,” he said. “I think it’s got to be a partnership, and we’ve got to do this with the city, so I think over time that we’ll be able to do this.”

The new owners do plan to invest in the team to make it winning venture, Lasry said.

“We bought the team, we’re pretty competitive guys, we’d like to win an NBA championship,” Lasry said. “I think you’ll see us putting money into the team. I think when you look at this, you’re really a steward of an asset. I’d love to tell you we own it. I think, really, the city owns the team. The fans own the team. We’re the ones who are sort of managing it for this period of time, and I think we have the responsibility to do the best we can.

“The biggest thing is you want to sort of create a winning culture, and I don’t think Milwaukee or the Bucks have had that, so we’re going to be doing that.”

Lasry feels he and Edens paid a fair price at $550 million for the Bucks, since the LA Clippers sold for $2 billion a few weeks later.

And he and Edens specifically chose the Bucks as their target for ownership, he said.

“We’re thrilled. I had always been a huge Milwaukee Bucks fan, Lew Alcindor—I think for us it was great. I had no interest in buying a team in LA,” Lasry said.

It could take three to five years to turn the Bucks around, he said.

“I think right now we have the best team in the NBA that’s under 23,” Lasry said.

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