OSHKOSH, Wis. — The Milwaukee Bucks are set to make an announcement regarding their future NBA D-League team Wednesday in Oshkosh, reports WBAY-TV.
Oshkosh is one of the three finalist cities team president Peter Feigin alluded to during an interview on The Neighborhood late last summer. While no potential team names were mentioned at that time, Feigin said they would take the process seriously. Other cities being considered are Sheboygan and Racine.
The announcement is expected to include details about the construction of a new arena to house the franchise. The WBAY report says Oshkosh investors are proposing a $15 million, privately-funded arena that would seat about 3,500 fans for D-League games, while doubling as a concert venue holding 4,000 people. Construction is expected to begin next month.
Feigin told the Wisconsin Sports Zone Network that a determining factor for which city would house the D-league team would have to bring “attendance, an in-bred fan base, and the financial support…A lot of it is who the partnership group is and then what the excitement, and the activity, and the pre-sales are.”
Milwaukee has been among just a handful of NBA teams without an affiliate, relying upon the league’s “flexible assignment rule” when sending players to the Development League to build up their skills. If everything goes as planned, the Bucks would become the 25th of 30 NBA teams to have its own affiliate.
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — Joe Wolf is spearheading an effort to bring a Milwaukee Bucks NBA Development League team to Sheboygan, but his proposal to refurbish the Armory would mean a venue for community events and youth programs as well.
“We’d like to provide a safe zone for kids,” Wolf told the Wisconsin Sports Zone Network on Sunday. “There are a lot of troubling things in the Sheboygan community that we’d like to take out of the kids’ lives and we’d like to set the right foundation.”
Wolf is the leader of Lakefront Jewel Group, which hopes to raise enough funds to renovate the Armory, which hasn’t seen much action since the 1990’s. The Armory was once home to the Sheboygan Red Skins, a National Basketball League team operating from the years of 1938 to 1949.
One of the community issues Wolf hopes his plan will protect children from is rampant drug use. According to a WHBL interview in 2015 with Samaritans Hand director Kent Kollath, one of the most common drugs used in Sheboygan County is heroin.
“Actually, the impact in Sheboygan County is bigger than anybody would even be aware of. People aren’t really aware of all the overdoses that they don’t hear about. The problem is huge and all of the problems related to the heroin problem; homelessness, crime, it could be prostitution, neglect of their children — it’s just flooding our city.”
A Sheboygan County data report from 2014 shows heroin as one of the most prevalent drugs used in eastern Wisconsin.
The Bucks have set the goal to have an affiliate team up and running by the 2017 season. It’s a lofty goal, but one Wolf says they can realistically meet.
Milwaukee has narrowed down its choices for their affiliate team to three and hopes to make a decision by mid-September before gaining NBA approval.
MILWAUKEE — The process of naming a host city for a Milwaukee Bucks NBA Development League team is taking longer than expected, pushing the decision date into September.
In an interview with the Wisconsin Sports Zone Network, team president Peter Feigin says he expects that decision to come down in the next four to six weeks, with the longer end of that time frame bumping up against Milwaukee’s start of training camp.
While Feigin said the team is now considering “about three cities” as the affiliate’s host, the decision comes down to more than just location. Location was a factor, however, in ruling out La Crosse, despite being the only reported city with an arena already in place.
Among the cities believed to be in the running, Sheboygan has launched a site with renderings of a proposed arena. Oshkosh and Racine are also considered strong contenders.
According to Feigin, the city which wins the bidding war will have “attendance, a [built-in] fan base, and then actually have the financial support to do it.” The partnership group and excitement level will also come into play.
Sheboygan’s ownership group, Lakefront Jewel Group, is headed by former Milwaukee Bucks player and assistant coach Joe Wolf. Wolf was also an assistant with the Brooklyn Nets for the 2014-15 season and has experience coaching NBA Development League teams. The Group’s Web site lists 2017 as the year in which the proposed arena will be completed, which falls in line with Milwaukee’s plan to have a team established by that time frame.
At this time, no team names have been generated and no sponsorship opportunities have publicly been announced.