Bucks owner: No talks yet on arena lease, but how long does it take to write fine print, anyway?

The Milwaukee Bucks owners have revealed that their new taxpayer-funded arena won’t open until 2018, which was already reported last month, but it’s officialer now. Wes Edens and Marc Lasry, you will recall, spent years giving the impression that a new arena needed to be in place by 2017 or else the team would move, but now that they have their $450 million in public cash and tax breaks, sure, no hurry.

In more newsy news, Edens said he hasn’t even begun lease negotiations with the state, but expects them to be completed by the end of the year anyway: “The lease negotiations are very important and they’re meaningful but I don’t have the same sense of anxiety about them that we did during the whole financing process.” That seems awfully blasé given that the two sides need to agree on such huge items as who’ll be responsible for which maintenance costs and whether the Bucks can break their lease before the term is up, but maybe Edens is just trying to convey a “Hey guys, this’ll be easy, just sign on the dotted line there, no need to read it” vibe. (PRO TIP to Wisconsin Center District negotiators: Don’t do that, it never works out well.)

2 comments on “Bucks owner: No talks yet on arena lease, but how long does it take to write fine print, anyway?

  1. I think the lease will work itself out, but wasn’t this the stage where the deal between the Maloofs and Sacto fell apart? Wasn’t the problem that Sacto wanted 25 or 30 years with no opt-out and the Maloofs found that too risky?

  2. Ben, I still think we have a way to go in Sacramento, too. I think SBH is required to repay their existing loan before they can move into the new arena. I’m counting on this clause being modified over the next few months.