Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl declared yesterday that he’s dedicated to keeping the team in town, stating “the Bucks stay here” and stating his commitment to getting a new arena built:
“We have to get there. It’s important for our community and our state to get there. And along with that, that will see to it that the Bucks stay here. They sort of need each other. A facility needs the Bucks, and the Bucks need a facility. We are determined to get there.”
So that’s … hey, hang on. Roll that tape again.
“That will see to it that the Bucks stay here.”
So if Milwaukee doesn’t build a new arena for the Bucks — and Kohl has made clear that, notwithstanding him being a billionaire and all, he expects the bulk of the money to come from the public — then that won’t see to it that the Bucks stay here? Meaning the Bucks will then move?
It’s a classic example of the non-threat threat, something that Kohl has proven himself an expert at in the past. If you do it right, you get headlines reading “Herb Kohl dedicated to keeping Bucks in Milwaukee” while simultaneously sending the message that if he doesn’t get what he wants, the team will be gone, and it won’t be his fault, it’ll be yours. Nice work if you can get it.