Racine in talks with developer for D-League arena, downtown hotel

City one of three being considered by Milwaukee Bucks to establish minor league team

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:13 pm

Racine officials are in talks with an Arizona-based developer about building a 150-room hotel in downtown Racine and possibly an event center if the Milwaukee Bucks choose the city as the site for its D-League team.

Rick Kozuback, president and CEO of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based International Coliseums Company, has been working with county and city officials for about a year on a downtown arena plan and a hotel, said Racine Mayor John Dickert.

Dickert said the city has its eye on a “couple” of downtown sites for the project but before any decisions can be made, several potential scenarios still have to be determined, including the major question, whether or not Racine will be chosen by the Bucks to host their D-League team.

The Milwaukee Bucks plan to establish a minor league (D-League) NBA team in Wisconsin. Oshkosh, Sheboygan, Grand Chute, La Crosse and Racine all expressed initial interest in a team. The Bucks have already eliminated Grand Chute and La Crosse from consideration.

Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave plans on giving a presentation on the downtown arena and hotel plan during tonight’s county board meeting. Delagrave could not be reached for comment.

Dickert said he believes Racine is the best community for the D-League team because of its proximity to Milwaukee and its strong basketball history. Racine St. Catherine’s High School graduate James McIlvaine spent seven seasons in the NBA with the Washington Bullets, Seattle SuperSonics and New Jersey Nets. Racine Park High School graduate Caron Butler played with the NBA from 2002 until this year.

“Obviously we want to start working on (the hotel and arena) right away,” Dickert said. “Now that we have gotten the city and Racine County turned around, we see Racine as a natural fit for everything from corporate headquarters to entertainment. Water is the place everything comes back to. Milwaukee has seen it with the Third and Fifth wards. We are the next in line.”

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